Washington wildfire smoke brings southern B.C. air quality advisories

VANCOUVER – Smoke from wildfires raging in Washington state has prompted air quality advisories for communities across southern B.C.

B.C. Wildfire Service says southerly winds drove the smoke from several wildfires south of the border into the province Saturday evening, resulting in poor visibility and air quality issues.

Environment Canada has issued an air quality alert for the Okanagan, southern interior and Kootenay regions, warning there are high levels of fine particulate matter in the air and cautioning people to avoid strenuous activity outdoors.

Metro Vancouver has also issued an air quality advisory for central and eastern Fraser Valley.

B.C. fire crews are scheduled to head to Washington state Sunday to help fight the Stickpin fire about 4.5 kilometres south of the border.