Smoky skies greeted residents across Greater Victoria Tuesday morning. The haze even obscured mountain views from Sidney. (Wolfgang Depner/News Staff)

Washington wildfires likely cause for Greater Victoria’s smoke-filled skies

Region wakes up to strong smell of smoke, haze

Greater Victoria residents get an extra dose of ‘campfire’ after the Labour Day long weekend, likely thanks to wildfires south of the border.

The region woke up Tuesday morning to hazy skies and a strong smell of smoke. Residents from Victoria to the Saanich Peninsula took to social media to note the sudden shift in air quality, which is categorized in the highest health risk bracket by BC Air Quality.

It’s recommended the public avoid strenuous activities outdoors and that children and elderly people avoid outdoor physical exertion.

A map published by the Northwest Interagency Coordination Centre (NWCC) reveals a 67,000-acre – roughly 27,000 hectare – wildfire burning in Cold Springs, north of the Columbia River. Just below the river, the wildfire continues into Pearl Hill – a wildfire with a 70,647-hectare perimeter.

Close by, a smaller, 7279-hectare wildfire is burning north of Cold Springs in Palmer.

READ ALSO: Smoke wafting from Washington wildfires potential cause of Victoria haze

Two smaller fires are also burning south of Victoria, including a 238-hectare wildfire in Jungle Creek and a 30,682-hectare fire in Evans Canyon.

The U.S. National Weather Service issued a high wind warning on Monday for eastern Washington cities, noting east winds with gusts 55 to 60 miles per hour, or roughly 89 to 97 kilometres per hour.

Carol Connolly, NWCC public information officer, said a big wind event over the last 24 hours caused eight new large fires in the state and the gusty wind, which continues to blow from the east and over the Cascade Mountains, is likely pushing that smoke into southern Vancouver Island.

On Tuesday morning Environment Canada also reported that an upper ridge of pressure is drawing warm air northward from the U.S. this week.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bcwildfireVictoriawildfire smoke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Cascadia Seaweed hopes to float to the top of a growing industry

Food products based on seaweed could hit local shelves in spring 2021

Deadline looms to take Esquimalt’s waste stream survey

Township wants residents, business owners’ thoughts on integrated resource management

New Oak Bay officer on the traffic beat

Const. Jeff Savoy a ‘top traffic enforcement officer’

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Most Read