The smoke from wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington State continues to drift north to cover a large part of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the southern interior of BC.

Environment Canada has extended its air quality alert for eastern Vancouver Island and the Victoria area.

In Duncan this morning, the Air Quality Health Index was at 10+ as of 7 am. The AQHI is forecast to remain at “very high” for the day and decrease slightly tonight and tomorrow.

In Nanaimo, the reading was 10+ as of 7 am, as was the case in Victoria and on the West Shore.

During periods where the index is high, people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals may experience health effects from smoke exposure.

You’re advised to reduce or postpone strenuous outdoor activities.

A large swath of the US West Coast is blanketed with smoke, complicating the work of firefighters and efforts to located dozens of people who are missing.

At least 35 people have died in the West Coast wildfires, including 24 in California, 10 in Oregon, and a child in Washington state.