Smoke lingered over Abbotsford despite lifting of air quality warning

Particulate levels remained high during nights, mornings

Haze remained in the Abbotsford area despite the air quality advisory being lifted.

Laura Rodgers

While a recent air quality warning has been lifted for the Fraser Valley area, smoke levels remain elevated for certain times of day.

Day-long averages are staying below B.C. Ministry of Environment target levels, but there have been temporary spikes above these targets at night and into the morning when smoke settles in low-lying areas, according to Eric Taylor, an air quality meteorologist with the ministry.

“Smoke concentrations in Abbotsford are quite high,” Taylor said of the conditions on Aug. 27. Taylor said the Fraser Valley has been at risk of even higher smoke levels as the many wildfires in eastern Washington State continue to burn, but winds primarily from the southwest continue to bring the bulk of the smoke to the eastern interior of B.C.

“The real heavy smoke is being kept east of the Fraser Valley,” said Taylor, adding that the winds wouldn’t have to change much to bring smoke toward the Abbotsford area wind straight from the south would blow smoke directly here.

Smoke levels have been highest in this area in the night and early morning because heat from the sun causes air turbulence by the afternoon that disperses smoke particles, he said.

The former air quality advisory was put in place from Aug. 23 to Aug. 25 by Metro Vancouver. Ken Reid, superintendent of environmental monitoring for Metro Vancouver, says he’s well aware of the significant haze still in Abbotsford but a surprisingly small amount of smoke can cause this highly visible effect.

“It’s at low levels now, but it can have a very dramatic effect on visibility,” said Reid.

Smoke levels are expected to drop even further as rain starting Aug. 28 latches onto smoke particles and increases air quality. “We’re going to see a significant change,” said Reid. “The rain is going to improve air quality here and elsewhere.”

Washington State weather forecasters predict rain for eastern Washington, which will likely soothe the area’s raging wildfires. And according to Taylor, the low-pressure system moving in to western Canada and the United States will stay for awhile, which should hopefully allay air quality concerns for some time.


Just Posted

Abbotsford International Airport headed toward major passenger milestone

Mayor predicts YXX will see one millionth passenger at end of December

Mouat grad Irons heading to Grey Cup

Former Hawks star and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats challenging Winnipeg on Sunday

VIDEO: West Coast Christmas Show in Abbotsford

Highlights from the annual event at Tradex

Langley crash slowing westbound Highway 1 traffic

Crash occurred just past 200th Street around 5:45 a.m.

Check out Abbotsford’s top 15 attractions, according to Trip Advisor

Mill Lake tops the list of things to seen and do, according to travellers’ rankings

Three people deported after Surrey brawl caught on camera: RCMP

Police say they have been ‘actively engaged’ in the issue of youth fights in Newton since March

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Most Read