Smoke lingers over Victoria, some relief expected Thursday

Smoke lingers over Victoria, some relief expected Thursday

Wildfire smoke drifts over Victoria on Sept. 6.

Smoke from the wildfires in B.C.’s Interior, Washington state and Oregon continued to drift into Victoria on Wednesday.

Residents in the area started seeing light ash from the wildfires falling on Tuesday. Environment Canada’s special air quality statement is still in place for Victoria/Saanich and the West Shore due to the wildfire smoke, which is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

A smoky skies bulletin for East Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria, Inland Vancouver Island, North Vancouver Island, Southern Gulf Islands, and West Vancouver Island remains in effect. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, along with Island Health, issued the bulletin on Tuesday due to the smoke.

A special weather statement is also in effect for Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island due to a strong high-pressure ridge which is leading to unseasonably warm air over the south coast.

Environment Canada said there will be less cloud cover on Wednesday compared to Tuesday, but the thick wildfire smoke will continue over the area. The smoke will suppress daytime temperatures by a few degrees. Temperatures are expected to reach mid-20s near the coast and low 30s inland.

Smoke will begin to clear on Thursday with light showers in the forecast. Widespread showers on the south coast will continue through Saturday but heavy rains are not expected. Temperatures will lower to normal values for early September by Friday.

The northern lights may be visible on Wednesday night. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides Aurora Borealis forecasts, , the current plasma burst’s geomagnetic storm is expected to arrive late Wednesday and the northern lights may be visible over Washington, Oregon and northern California on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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