Smoky skies, bad air from wildfires cover Northwest

The station in Ellensburg reports "very unhealthy" levels of air pollution.

Western parts of Alberta, including Banff and Jasper national parks, were the only regions east of B.C. expected to experience significant air quality reductions Monday due to lingering smoke and ash.

"The millions of vehicles on Bay Area roads during these hot summer months create unhealthy air quality and make breathing more hard for many", said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district.

The smoke in the air is causing public health concerns for residents.

"Infants have very sensitive lungs when they're born so the smoke is going to be even worse for them and depending on the level of exposure, there might be damage done to infant lungs, which might have lifelong implications".

The particulate matter was expected to hang in the air around Vancouver and Victoria for most of the week, although that forecast could be affected by changes in wildfire behaviour or atmospheric conditions. This can become risky at times with easterly winds throughout B.C.

Instead, Henderson said, people in areas with smoky, hazy skies should try to limit the amount of time they spend outdoors as much as possible.

Seattle's Space Needle was swathed in haze on Monday, and it was impossible to see nearby mountains.

Benenati said along with the app, there are additional resources on DEQ's website if you're looking for more information.

Multiple area high school sports have reported either cancelling or moving practices indoors.

It's been a week since Metro Vancouver issued an air quality advisory and, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, the smoke will likely remain thick for the next couple of days on the South Coast.

  • Tracy Klein