British Columbia wildfires: Smoky skies in western Canada

Hazy Skies

Thick smoke from wildfires raging in British Columbia, Canada, and in the eastern portion of the state started to spread into Western Washington on Sunday.

Late last week, the smoke reached into the neighbouring provinces of Alberta and affected air quality into parts Saskatchewan and even Winnipeg, Manitoba, a city about 2,000km (1,240 miles) to the east.

On Sunday evening, Spokane's air quality fell further and was sitting at 303 as of 6:15 p.m., according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.

A new mobile app from The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality allows you to have information about your area's air quality conditions at your fingertips.

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Environment Canada says, "Smoky skies will continue across most of the province for the next few days".

The air quality health index released by the B.C. government shows a very high health risk in areas from Whistler, Squamish and Nanaimo to the Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Castlegar and parts of Metro Vancouver. Approximately 6,000 people living near active fires have been told to leave their homes, while more than 11,000 people have been warned that evacuations could be ordered. Smoke from fires in British Columbia drifting into Washington and Idaho will cause unhealthy air levels through Tuesday, the weather service said.

Wildfire smoke originating in Canada is now clouding the skies over central and northeast Minnesota.

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