Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Air Quality Advisory Issued as Wildfire Smoke Blankets Region

Air Quality Advisory Issued as Wildfire Smoke Blankets Region

Oregon's new air-quality web site has had almost a half-million visits since wildfire activity picked up July 15, creating smoky skies over much of the state.

Nineteen wildfires are burning across more than 300,000 acres in Washington and OR, filling the skies with thick smoke.

Residents in Vanderhoof in central B.C. reported thick smoke and black ash falling on Monday night due to fires including a 315-square-kilometre blaze west of the municipality, said fire information officer Ryan Turcot.

Those conditions resulted in an air pollution advisory issued Tuesday by the Southwest Clean Air Agency. The National Weather Service says children, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory illnesses are often the most at risk of health complications and should limit or completely avoid spending time outside.

Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire.

Man arrested after vehicle crashes into barriers outside Houses of Parliament
The cordon extends past the Cenotaph on Whitehall - a five-minute walk from the scene at Old Palace Yard. Police arrested a man following the incident close to a auto park at the House of Lords entrance.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the City of Calgary and much of the western part of the country on Wednesday morning.

Temperatures will stay in the 80s until Thursday, when they dip into the upper 70s. Thankfully, we don't expect this to last as long as it did last summer.

But air quality may diminish again on Sunday when the onshore flow will be cut off, according to Allard. "I wouldn't be surprised if this is the worst air quality we've had this year". Their advice? The air sucks right now, as you can probably tell by looking out your window. Try running your air conditioner and set it to re-circulate the air - the idea is to keep the air moving and keep it cool.

There is a good chance that alert will be extended past Wednesday, said Mark Edler of the Yakima Clean Air Agency.

It's the latest outcome of yet another year of devastating wildfires.

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