Smell of smoke in Greater Victoria from wildfire started near Sooke

Smell of smoke in Greater Victoria from wildfire started near Sooke

WATCH: Many on south Vancouver Island could see and smell the effects of that fire Thursday morning. Kori Sidaway tells us why there is smoke in the air so far away from the blaze, and why those who are vulnerable need to be aware.

You can’t see it, but you can sure smell it.

“I did smell it, like burnt toast!” said one Victoria resident who remained anonymous.

Smoke from the Tugwell Wildfire near Sooke is spreading across Greater Victoria.

“There was a lot of smoke in the air in that area. And people were affected by it in their lungs,” said another Victoria resident whose morning workout class was affected.

The smoke is a reminder of the eerie haze that covered Vancouver Island in July of 2015.

“Definitely a few summers ago when it was really thick, I started going inside instead of biking outside,” said Sharon Specker who lives in Cook Village area.

But, the smoke from this fire won’t be that intense.

“The concentration is never going to be very high, but it’s certainly going to be enough to smell it,” said Environment Canada Meteorologist Armel Castellan.

“It’s just going to make it’s way over to the Georgia Strait and the Juan de Fuca area so all the coastline will see the effect of the smell of the smoke for sure.”

For people with respiratory issues, the smoke is still a concern and a reminder that forest fires can rapidly impact air quality.

“We are really at the start of the big wildfire season. Then you’d want to be really cautious about how much exposure, especially if you’re a vulnerable person – asthmatic, elderly. It’s something you want to take into consideration,” said Castellan.

Both Island Health and Castellan say that for now, air quality risk remains low and the smoke shouldn’t last too long.

“Relative humidity values are up so it’s a shift from east to west wind, we call Mother Nature’s air conditioning, so the Pacific Ocean, it’s going to bring in that cooler, moister air,” said Castellan.

And with showers forecasted, the smoke from this fire may no longer be seen or smelled for long.


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