Smoke drifts from the forest fires in B.C. can be more than a million kilometers away from the earth and leaves some communities in the province with one of the worst air quality in the world.
In Central Canada, Environment Canada Prince George gave a "10+" rating on the Air Quality Health Index Sunday morning, everyone in Prince George insists on reducing any outside activity.
From Sunday afternoon Prince George had a 19 of 100 – 100 that was ideal – on a global air pollution index known as the "Breezometer". By way of comparison, Mumbai, India – a city known as one of the worst air in the world – has a rating of 45.
The conditions are so bad in Prince George that social media messages show up near the area what a city seems to be in the twilight, while in reality the pictures are made halfway through the morning.
"It's one of the worst we've ever had", Garth Frizzell, city councilor at the city of Prince George, told CTV News Channel. "It's pretty serious, the sky is gray and we're looking for peace, but for now we see people who are more severely affected than we are."
Prince George has brought in some 2,200 people who have already been evacuated from other parts of the province.
From midnight Saturday, the BC Wildfire Service reported 421 active forest fires throughout the province. The smoke that comes from the fires is so huge that NASA says the smoke can be seen from satellites 1.5 million kilometers away.
The smoke does not only affect British Columbia. Forest fires have prompted Environment Canada to issue air quality declarations for a large part of southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as northwestern Ontario.
The National Weather Agency warns that smoky conditions can lead to coughing, throat irritation, headaches or breath shortages, especially among children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases.
As the crews continue to fight the fires, two additional evacuation warnings have been issued for parts of south-central British Colombia.
The regional District of Central Kootenay has issued alerts for the Syringa Provincial Park, Deer Park and the surrounding areas. The reports relate to 103 residential addresses, 100 campsites and an apartment with 57 units.
The warnings are prompted by a fire in the Syringa Provincial Park that has grown to an estimated 419 hectares and a fire near Deer Creek, which is about 225 hectares in size.
"The Southeast Fire Center has requested evacuation warnings as a precautionary measure to protect people and property in the area, particularly campers or visitors to the area," said Sangita Sudan, director of the RDCK Emergency Operations Center in a press release. "If you are bothered by the warning, take the time to prepare yourself to evacuate yourself and your family if an evacuation is needed."
For those who are interested – this was taken by my husband today at two o'clock in the afternoon … #smokey #BCwildfire #quesnel pic.twitter.com/PQwPWCTF0U
– Changing channels #WeSavedLucifer #VanCon (@ChangingChange1) August 18, 2018