Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

Thick wildfire smoke in Prince George made day appear night-like on Friday morning

Friday's air quality in Great Falls is rated "unhealthy" (red) by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, meaning that active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

In fact, the dismal air quality is so bad it is like smoking seven cigarettes a day, according to a research scale created by Berkeley Earth.

Dr. Trevor Corneil, chief medical officer for Interior Health, the Okanagan's provincial health-care co-ordinator, said Sunday even professional triathletes could struggle if particulate entered their lungs and bloodstream.

"Smoke is clearing up at NWS Seattle", the National Weather Service tweeted at 6:30 a.m, using the hashtag #goodbyesmoke.

What has caused the smoke?

"The smoke conditions were something that I've never seen in 30 years of firefighting", said Owen Price, an agency representative for Sask. crews.

Hundreds of flights have been grounded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport due to the poor visibility.

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The weather service said tropical-storm-force winds could begin as early as Wednesday afternoon or evening on the Big Island. All public schools and charter schools on Hawaii Island and Maui County have been closed until further notice as a outcome .

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with B.C. Premier John Horgan at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre during the Liberal cabinet retreat in Nanaimo, B.C., on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

In Alberta, the air quality is expected to get worse on Wednesday.

The Wildfire Service said the smoke in the Kamloops Fire Centre made it hard to see new fires on the weekend and limited its use of aircraft to fight the blazes.

Breathing in smoke from forest fires can be unsafe for everyone, especially sensitive groups such as people with heart or lung disease.

Smoke-related health symptoms include scratchy throat, coughing, stinging eyes, runny nose, irritated sinuses, and headaches, according to health officials.

The air quality will be reevaluated on Monday.

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