Look overhead during the peak summer months of July and August and you’re likely to see clear blue sky with little precipitation, but many parts of the province are now experiencing some thick haze.
That’s due to the effects of local wildfires burning in British Columbia, along with large-scale smoke from distant wildfires impacting the province.
A smoky skies bulletin has now been issued by the Ministry of Environment for many regions of mainland B.C., including across the water on Vancouver Island.
Areas affected as of July 30 include:
- Greater Victoria
- Vancouver Island
- Southern Gulf Islands
- North and Central Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- Howe Sound
- North and South Thompson
- Fraser Canyon
- Bulkely Valley and Lakes District
- North Coast
These bulletins address the rapidly changing nature of wildfire smoke and are issued when the province is impacted — or has a reasonable potential to be impacted — by wildfire smoke within the next 24-48 hours.
Mild irritation and discomfort are common symptoms during smoky conditions and usually disappear when the smoke clears. Stop or reduce activity levels if breathing becomes difficult and stay cool by drinking plenty of fluids.
READ MORE: Campfire bands issued around B.C.
If you are unsure whether you need medical care, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1, and if you’re having a medical emergency of experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pain or discomfort, or a severe cough, contact your health care provider, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.