PHOTOS: Satellite imagery show B.C.’s summer of smoke evolving over three months

NASA photos shows smoke blanketing Southern B.C. and Washington

British Columbia’s summer of smoke is continuing into September, and new satellite imagery shows just bad the situation is across the region.

A NASA image taken Tuesday shows nearly the entirety of southern British Columbia along with much of Washington State and large chunks of Oregon under a thick haze. Much of the smoke is coming from fires south of the border even as blazes continue to rage in the interior.

By comparison, early August’s smoke situation was largely confined to the Lower Mainland and western reaches of the Interior. The smoke originated with massive fires in the B.C. Interior while a stagnant weather system allowed particulate matter to settle.

As bad as it’s been in the Lower Mainland, though, the satellite imagery shows other areas have been dealing with the poor air even longer in this smokiest of summers.

Meteorologists suggest the smoke may clear soon thanks to the arrival of cooler, wetter weather.

As of Wednesday morning, the province’s air quality health index had several areas labelled as high health risk including Metro Vancouver, the Eastern Fraser Valley, the Central and South Okanagan, Whistler, Williams Lake and Castlegar.

For the current air quality health index, click here.