Smoky skies make for a red sunrise over Esquimalt Lagoon on Thursday (Aug. 12) morning. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

Smoky skies make for a red sunrise over Esquimalt Lagoon on Thursday (Aug. 12) morning. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)

Fire smoke smothers Vancouver Island amid heat wave

Smoky skies alert warns of poor air quality on much of Vancouver Island

Many residents of Vancouver Island woke Thursday to smoke and had those fears confirmed as Environment Canada issued air quality alerts late morning.

Communities from Victoria to Campbell River are included in the smoky skies bulletin issued Aug. 11 shortly after 11 a.m., warning of wildfire smoke over the region for the next 24 to 48 hours.

Smoke exposure can impact people with pre-existing health conditions or respiratory infections, older adults, pregnant women and infants and children.

The air quality concerns come as more residents, particularly those without air conditioning, may be opening windows and doors to alleviate the heat.

RELATED: Cooling options crop up as promised heat wave arrives in Greater Victoria

Environment Canada noted that wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. For more details, please consult www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.

The next smoky skies update is expected Aug. 13. Find the air quality index here and visit firesmoke.ca for a smoke prediction map.

READ ALSO: Eight weather stations break high heat records on southern Vancouver Island

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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B.C. Wildfires 2021HealthWeather