Manitoba affected by BC wildfire smoke, special air quality alert in effect

A view of the W.R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna on Saturday and how smoky the conditions are in the Central Okanagan

Photos: Smoky skies in Minnesota

It's the second time in a week smoke from wildfires has pushed the state's air quality into risky level.

"Local smoke levels may vary based on wind direction and fire characteristics but, until a significant change in the provincial weather pattern occurs, widespread air quality improvements are not expected".

The district also urged the public to stay off the roads this weekend. The haze will worsen late Sunday and on Monday but sun should return on Tuesday.

An air pollution advisory for southern OR remains in effect until further notice. Kitsap County and areas near the Cascade foothills are experiencing air quality ranging from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Air quality monitoring stations in Yakima, Toppenish, Sunnyside and White Swan are all reporting air quality as "hazardous".

While some people have started wearing surgical masks outdoors to protect their respiratory systems, Henderson cautioned that her organization does not recommend fighting the effects of the fine particulate matter with masks, except for people who have to work outdoors.

Hundreds of residents are either under evacuation orders or are being warned that they should be ready to leave their homes at a moment's notice.

"From one corner of the province to the other, we've got major fires of note burning right now", Kevin Skrepnek of the BC Wildfire Service told CTV Vancouver. Authorities believe five of the six were sparked by lightning and the sixth by human activity. Smoke may not affect all areas at all times.

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