Global –-The smoky haze drifting over much of B.C., blurring the sun, is coming from fires in Siberia, central Russia and, possibly, from other fire-stricken areas in eastern Asia, weather and air quality specialists say.
“It’s mainly due to fires in eastern Siberia,” Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells said Monday. “The smoke and dust travels across the Pacific Ocean in an upperlevel flow pattern and it’s just the right trajectory to produce some issues in blocking the sun.”
The haziness started during the weekend and probably will continue until a cold front comes in or the fires are brought under control, said Eric Taylor, provincial air-quality meteorologist.
“It appears to be coming from eastern Asia fires, not only in Siberia, but also in central Russia, China and even Vietnam,” he said. “It has taken six or seven days to get across the Pacific. – It is getting caught up in high-level winds moving across the Pacific at about 8,000 metres.”
The B.C. Interior is seeing higher concentrations of smoke than Vancouver Island. Air-quality advisories have been issued in communities such as Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George and Smithers, Taylor said.
There is no estimate on when the Siberian fires will be brought under control. A cold front isn’t expected until late this week at the earliest.