At least some of the smoke clogging the air in the eastern Fraser Valley is coming from a fire burning outside of Hope.
BC Wildfire Service said the Flood Falls fire is still considered “being held” and has not grown over the last month. But it is still burning.
“The fire is what we refer to as a project fire which means that crews are on it for an extended period of time,” said Marg Drysdale, a fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Centre. “The fire is in very inaccessible ground which means that crews can not safely work the ground on a large portion of the fire, and in this instance will require the assistance of the weather to put it out.”
They won’t know until the rains come if it will be enough to have an impact on this fire and others, she explained.
The Fraser Valley has been one of the worst-hit regions in North America for fire smoke recently, which can be tracked and forecasted in real time online at firesmoke.ca.
Much of the smoke in the area is actually pushing up from fires in Washington and Oregon, Drysdale said, and some is from the local fires. There are also fires near Harrison Lake and Chilliwack Lake.
As for the Flood Falls fire, they are continuing to monitor it daily and will assign a crew if it moves into ground where firefighters need to work to keep in as “being held.” Crews and aircraft working on fires nearby can be reallocated to work it at any time, she added.
Meanwhile, the communities of Hope, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission, and all points in between, have been under an air quality advisory all week. Wildfire smoke is unhealthy because of the small particulate matter, known as PM2.5, that can settle deep in the lungs.
Environment Canada was calling for rain as early as Thursday evening, with a consistent wet forecast until at least next Tuesday. And if it does rain by Friday, it will mark day 96 of drought in the Chilliwack area.
-with files from Jennifer Feinberg, Black Press Media