Smoke from B.C.’s wildfires could give some partial relief from this week’s wildfires.

Wildfire smoke could provide some relief during heat wave

Both heat and smoke present health risks

Some relief to this week’s heat wave in the Lower Mainland may come from an unexpected source – the wildfires currently burning in B.C.’s Interior.

High pressure air is pushing smoke from the fires eastward toward a low-pressure system hanging over the Pacific and partially blocking out the sun in the eastern Fraser Valley, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist.

Cindy Yu said the particulate matter in the smoke is already elevated in Hope, Agassiz and Chilliwack and is likely to push farther west in the coming days.

“That has an impact on our temperatures,” she said. “The layer of smoke tends to act similar to a layer of cloud – it’s blocking the sun.”

Environment Canada has adjusted its forecasts for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday by one or two degrees, she said, and depending on how smokey the skies become in coming days, those temperatures could drop further.

But predicting the smoke concentration is difficult as that depends on humidity, winds and the behaviour of several forest fires currently burning in B.C.

The forecast still calls for temperatures to hit as high as 32 C on Tuesday and 35 C on both Thursday and Friday.

Yu said the high temperatures and particulate matter in the air could pose significant concurrent health risks, particularly for the young and elderly.

In Abbotsford, the city has set up cooling stations at both Abbotsford and Matsqui Recreation Centres with air-conditioned rooms and water available to any resident in need.

Jesse Wegenast, a pastor with The 5 and 2 Ministries has been coordinating with various local organizations to make sure Abbotsford’s vulnerable populations have access to water during the heat wave. He said every year he sees homeless people end up in hospital with heat exhaustion and other heat-related issues when the mercury rises.

He said water will be available from or handed out by the Salvation Army, 5 and 2, Lookout Shelter, Fraser Valley Regional Library locations, Positive Living, Fraser Health’s inter-angency care team, Cyrus Centre, SARA for Women and the Abbotsford Police bike patrol unit.

Looking forward, Yu said the low pressure system over the ocean could push inland as early as Monday and bring relieving rain, as well as thunderstorms, with the potential of starting more fires.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

Crash closes 264 Street in both directions

Crash closes 264 Street during afternoon commute on Thursday

Langley schools win three Fraser Valley banners

Langley Christian, Mountain and Walnut Grove take top spot in respective categories at cross-country championships

Raymond Lee Caissie gets life in prison for murdering Surrey teen in 2014

Judge numbers Caissie among ‘violent merciless men without a conscience’

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

VIDEO: Body discovered at scene of dumpster fire behind Langley City mall

Area behind furniture store taped off after firefighters find deceased woman while battling blaze

5 to start your day

Sentencing in murder of Surrey teen expected, Maple Ridge mayor to step away from politics and more

Most Read