Environment Canada has listed Kitimat as a ‘4’ on the Air Quality Health Index due to smoke from U.S. wildfires.
The index uses a scale of one to 10 to rank risk from stagnant or smoky air, and monitoring stations are ranked as Low (1-3), Moderate (4-6), High (7-10), or Very High (+). Most of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island has been in the high category for the past several days, and have only recently started moving down to the higher end of the moderate category.
Kitimat has been in the low category since the smoke began making its way into B.C., but is now set to be in the moderate category for daytime Friday (Sept. 18), as the smoke slowly moves throughout the province and up north.
The smoke comes from hundreds of wildfires burning in Washington state, Oregon and California, that have destroyed whole communities and killed at least 35 people.