Why Greater Victoria skies are hazy

Hazy skies in Greater Victoria are being linked to a wildfire in Olympic National Park, just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington state.

An 63-acre fire is burning on a steep slope near Lake Crescent, according to the U.S. National Park Service. Lake Crescent is about 30 kilometres southwest of Port Angeles.

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Environment Canada meteorologist Carmen Hartt said there was an increase in particulate matter in the capital region, but not a dangerous amount.

Air Quality Health Index Canada ranked the health risk Thursday evening as moderate. For most people, that means there is no need to modify activity.

The wildfire was discovered Wednesday afternoon. It’s suspected to be human caused.

Meanwhile, an air quality advisory has been issued for eastern Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of pollution.

The Metro Vancouver regional district issued the advisory about high concentrations of ground-level ozone, aggravated by the hot, sunny weather.

Ground-level ozone is formed when pollutants react with the air because of sunlight.

The advisory says the high concentrations are expected to persist today.

The warning says people should avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon or early evening when ozone levels are expected to be highest, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.

It says infants, children, pregnant women, those with heart or lung conditions, diabetes, or respiratory infections such as COVID-19 may be at elevated risk.

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