Poor air quality in Whistler from wildfires as B.C. battles 182 blazes

The Canadian Press / Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press / Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Smoke from two wildfires near Whistler, B.C., is contributing to poor air quality in the town renowned for its outdoor activities.

Environment Canada’s air quality health index lists the risk for Whistler at 10, and everyone, especially people with respiratory problems or related concerns, is being warned to stay indoors if possible.

Air quality deteriorated in Whistler on Tuesday but improved slightly south of the region, in Metro Vancouver.

Fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek says smoke has drifted toward Whistler from the Elaho Valley and Boulder Creek fires, near Pemberton.

He says 182 wildfires are burning across B.C. and that four of them are particularly challenging for crews because of mountainous terrain or remote locations.

Skrepnek says eight evacuation orders and alerts have been triggered because of the fires’ proximity to residences, including cabins.