It looks there is not much in the way of relief from the dense wildfire smoke blanketing a big chunk of the province.
Environment Canada’s Cindy Yu says the sheer volume of smoke overcame air movement through the interior of the province over the weekend.
“Today through Wednesday we are looking at a ridge of high pressure sitting over southern B.C. there will be little air movement unfortunately in this case. So I don’t think the air quality will necessarily improve.”
Yu says even torrential rain over an hour or two won’t do much at this point.
“The type of weather we need to improve air quality in this case is really soaking rain for several days and we are not seeing that in the forecast.”
Yu says the number of wildfires burning around the province and sheer amount of smoke they are churning out is overcoming any air movement or short term rain event.
“Air quality for Kamloops in this case well we had a little bit of ventilation with the air over the weekend but it didn’t seem to do much to improve the air quality. Unfortunately fires on all sides of the city.”
She says it was a wild weather weekend with thunderstorms rolling across the province and some 20-thousand recorded lightning strikes, with over half of those in the Thompson-Okanagan and Shuswap.
Its the worst air quality in Kamloops he’s ever seen.
B.C Environment Ministry Air Quality Specialist Ralph Adams says, a high pressure system is moving into the Kamloops area, meaning the smoke is not going anywhere.
“The levels of smoke we’re seeing now are well over 100. Last time I checked, we were at 150 micrograms per cubic metre, that is extremely unusual. That is really the kind of smoke levels when we’re got large fires buring quite near us, historically.”
Adams says, its going to take a major change in the forecast to blow the smoke away
“There are just simply now so many fires burning around us, that no matter which way the wind blows, we’re getting smoke from quite large fires.”