Canada Air quality from wildfire smoke hits dangerous levels in cities across B.C., as smoke heads west
Wildfire report author says heat dome highlights need for new plans in wildfire fight
One of the authors of a report examining what went wrong during British Columbia's extraordinary wildfire season in 2017 says this year's unprecedented heat dome demands new ways of approaching extreme weather events. George Abbott, co-author of "Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia," said the current fire season shows more extensive efforts are needed than have been used in the past. "I just thinkGeorge Abbott, co-author of "Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia," said the current fire season shows more extensive efforts are needed than have been used in the past.
For days, thick smoke from wildfires has blanketed B.C. cities in the Kootenays and Okanagan. Now, Metro Vancouver is bracing for that smoke to reach the coast this weekend.
On Saturday, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a special air quality statement for parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, warning that elevated ozone levels due to the heatwave could pose health risks. They're also predicting wildfire smoke is likely heading west.
"For a lot of the Interior right now, our Air Quality Health Index is at 10, which is a very high level, basically all around the areas with concentrated wildfires," Derek Lee, a federal meteorologist, told CBC News. "We are still monitoring some wildfire smoke that will be coming into the coast area over the next few days."
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Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a statement Saturday forecasting that "a change in the weather on Monday is forecast to bring onshore winds to help clear the smoke."
How bad it will get remains to be seen, but in cities close to the wildfire front lines, fine particle pollution has reached dangerous levels for human health. The impacts are worse on seniors, young children and those with pre-existing health conditions.
Number of fires rises by 60
On Saturday, Trail, B.C., hit pollution levels 43 times the maximum recommended levels. Kelowna reached levels 27 times above the safe limit.
Video: Smoke from wildfires worsens air quality across the West (cbc.ca)
"When we're seeing very high values, we want to avoid very strenuous activities outdoors," Lee explained
Red Sox score 5 runs in 8th inning, rally past Yankees 5-4
BOSTON (AP) — Held hitless into the eighth inning by Domingo Germán and looking feeble, Alex Verdugo and the Boston Red Sox suddenly erupted for five runs and stormed past the New York Yankees 5-4 Sunday. Verdugo opened the eighth with a long double for Boston’s first hit. Later, Kiké Hernández slid home headfirst on Xander Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly with the go-ahead run to cap the rally. The Red Sox won for the 10th time in 13 games against the Yankees and reclaimed first place in the AL East, a game ahead of Tampa Bay. New York fell nine games behind Boston. Boston trailed 4-0 when Verdugo doubled to deep right, and Germán was lifted after the hit.
Environment and Climate Change Canada said there's little reprieve in sight for those cities. But for the South Coast, meteorologists told CBC a change in the weather Monday should see winds help clear the smoke.
The B.C. Wildfire Service said more than 243 wildfires are currently burning across the province — an increase in 60 fires from last week. The largest number are burning in the Kamloops region
A total of 4,780 square kilometres have burned so far this year — a 38 per cent increase above the annual average for the last decade.
Most of the active fires are believed to have been caused by lightning, more of which is expected in the coming days.
"We are predicting lightning," Jean Strong, with B.C.'s wildfire service, told CBC News Network on Saturday, "but we're also expecting precipitation and we're hoping that may outweigh some of the lightning starts."
Meanwhile, there are 60 evacuation orders in place. No new orders were issued on Saturday.
Evacuation centres have been set up throughout the province to assist anyone evacuating from a community under threat from a wildfire. To find the centre closest to you, visit the. website.
Evacuees are encouraged to register withonline, whether or not they access services at an evacuation centre.
More wildfires have broken out in B.C. and strong winds expected to fan the flames .
VANCOUVER — More than 100 new wildfires have broken out this week in British Columbia as lightning and hot weather helped push the number of active fires to nearly 300. Almost three dozen of those blazes have the potential to endanger people and property, and new evacuations have been ordered as the 325-square kilometre White Rock Lake fire pushes towards Highway 97 between Kamloops and Vernon. The director of fire centre operations for the BC Wildfire Service, Rob Schweitzer, says that fire is particularly concerning given strong winds that are expected to increase fire activity and challenge suppression efforts Thursday and Friday.