Wildfire smoke expected to waft over Vancouver Island starting Wednesday

Wildfire smoke expected to waft over Vancouver Island starting Wednesday
Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod
Wildfire smoke blankets Victoria on Sept. 13, 2020.

Vancouver Island is expected to see smokey skies starting Wednesday as wildfires continue to burn in B.C.’s Interior and Alberta.

FireSmoke Canada displays BlueSky Canada forecasts on its website, predicting that around noon wildfire smoke will be visible across parts of the Island, including Nanaimo, Courtenay and Campbell River, before wafting over Greater Victoria by 2 p.m.

The weather forecast research team at the University of British Columbia produces the forecasts with support from multiple agencies, according to FireSmoke Canada.

B.C.’s Air Quality Index predicts that the Island — Victoria, West Shore, Duncan, Nanaimo and Comox Valley, in particular — will score, at most, a 3 Wednesday through Thursday night, which means “low risk” to the public.

“Enjoy your usual outdoor activities,” states information from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

READ ALSO: Hundreds of B.C. firefighters dig in for Fort St. John battle amid weather reprieve

The latest forecasts and predictions come as air quality statements blanket much of B.C. and the Prairie provinces as scores of wildfires rage.

As of Tuesday evening, more than 19,500 people in Alberta have been forced out of their homes, with 91 active wildfires burning in the province, 27 of which are considered out of control.

Meanwhile, Fort St. John remains under an evacuation alert in response to a wildfire that’s more than 130 square kilometres in size.

READ ALSO: Smoky haze from active wildfires forecasted to worsen in B.C. Interior

The BC Wildfire Service says hotter conditions could arrive today, along with a potentially problematic wind shift.

View FireSmoke Canada’s forecast map here.

-With files from The Canadian Press

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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