The smoke inundating the Cowichan Valley and the rest of Vancouver Island is expected to continue through to at least mid week.
Lisa Erven. a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said a weather system is currently bringing in the smoke from the many wildfires in the province’s interior to the coast.
But she said that system is expected to dissipate by midweek when onshore winds from the Pacific Ocean should push the smoke back to the interior.
But Erven couldn’t say how long the Island’s reprieve from the smoke would last.
“A long-term forecast for air quality in the Valley and on the Island is impossible to make right now,” she said.
“There are so many fires burning across the province that a small change in the wind patterns could see it return at any time.”
Erven said if the smoke wasn’t blowing in from other parts of B.C., the forecast for the Valley for the next few days would be for sunny skies and temperatures in the high 20s to the low 30s Centigrade.
But, with the smoky conditions, she said the temperatures are expected to be about 5C to 7C below that.
An air quality advisory is in effect for the Valley, and much of B.C., because of the high levels of fine particulate matter from the wildfires, which doctors say can be absorbed into the blood stream and lungs, causing exhaustion and confusion.
People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.
People are advised to stop or reduce activity levels if breathing becomes difficult or you feel unwell, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids, carry any rescue medications with you at all times and make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.