The air quality and visibility over the weekend was noticeably affected by particulates in forest fire smoke traveling across the landscape, and will likely be present in the region into Wednesday afternoon.
The BlueSky Canada interactive online visual tool shows an animated forecast of wildfire smoke as it’s expected to behave over the next 2 days in specific geographic regions. According to the website, Cortes Island and surrounding area have been experiencing an elevated PM2.5 rating, colour-coded to represent a range of 10-28 micrograms per meter cubed (µg/m3). These elevated levels nevertheless do not cross the threshold considered unsafe during a 24-hour period by Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.
The large cloud of smoke from the interior is predicted to start clearing by early afternoon on Monday. However, the closest fire situated roughly 45 kilometers north of Powell River will likely send more smoke our way as wind direction changes. This fire, which is under control, has an estimated size of 7 hectares and was discovered on June 27. Its approximate location is stated as Daniels River.
As of 8 p.m. Sunday, August 1, there were 244 active fires across the province, according to the BC Wildfire Dashboard. Seven were new as of this week, and 6 of those had been added to the total since noon on Sunday. A small fire of less than 0.01 hectares was briefly shown on Vancouver Island between Qualicum Bay and Qualicum Beach on Sunday afternoon, however it was no longer being reported by the evening. There were no other fires on Vancouver Island.
“This was the third incident of a vehicle fire on Forest Service Roads in as many weeks in the Campbell River area.”
Links of Interest
- The Blue Sky Interactive smoke forecast website
- (Gov of BC) BC Wildfire Dashboard
- (Cortes Currents) articles about, or mentioning, wildfires in BC
Wildfire smoke forecast for August 2, 2021 – Screenshot from Smoke Forecast.ca
This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.