Image at Chilliwack from an air visibility camera based there and displayed at www.clearairbc.ca. Air visibility there was rated poor as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Siberian smoke fades, U.S. fires may add to haze

Metro officials say increased particulate from afar has subsided – for now

The phenomenon of smoke wafting here from wildfires in Siberia is no longer a significant factor behind hazy skies over the Lower Mainland, according to Metro Vancouver officials.

Russian fires were blamed Monday by Metro air quality officials for a near-doubling in fine particulate levels over the past weekend.

“The situation is now changing,” Metro Vancouver spokesman Glenn Bohn said Wednesday. “The influence of smoke from the Asian fires has mostly ended. The concentrations of fine particulates have decreased.”

But he said fires burning in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California could send more smoke into B.C. in the days ahead, depending on the weather.

So far Metro officials are watching conditions and haven’t yet issued any air quality advisories.

Air quality experts recently unveiled a new website that rates air visibility at key sites around the Lower Mainland using a network of automated cameras. The ratings and images can be viewed at clearairbc.ca.