August 7, 2017 11:47 am
Updated: August 8, 2017 1:31 pm

B.C. wildfire status Monday: cool front could ease fire fight

The smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia's Interior has been hovering over the Vancouver area for days now. Global News meteorologist Mark Madryga looks at when the air could clear up.

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Officials are being cautiously optimistic about B.C.’s wildfire situation.

The overall number of fires crews are battling has dropped with only about 21 new fires starting this weekend, but the battle is far from over.

FULL COVERAGE: Wildfires burning around B.C.

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“Given how hot and dry it is across the province we aren’t seeing what could be the potential for new fire starts,” said chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek.

About 15 new fires started on Sunday in northern B.C. Skrepnek says many of those were caused by lightning.

Six fires started on Saturday.

“Given it’s the B.C. day long weekend, we’re encouraged,” added Skrepnek. “We think people are starting to get that message given that we’re not seeing a relatively high number of human-caused fires just given how many people are out in the backcountry this weekend.”

August is typically the hottest and busiest month in B.C. for the wildfire season and Skrepnek said there is still the potential for things to get worse before they get better.

“We certainly don’t want people getting complacent,” he said. “There’s still a real threat out there.”

WATCH: Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek gives us an update on the wildfire fight arou d B.C. We’re now looking at the weather in the hopes it will help ease some of those flames.

All eyes on the weather

Environment Canada says the ridge of high pressure that’s settled over most of B.C. has brought a stable stagnant weather pattern to the province.

While it remains dry, this weather pattern has brought very little wind and lightning, which has been good news for the wildfire situation. However, it has also brought no rain to the areas that need it most.

It is expected that this ride of high pressure will remain until about Friday before it begins to drift east.

Air quality advisory continues

Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are still under an air quality advisory this morning as the smokey skies are keeping the health index above safe levels.

Global BC meteorologist Mark Madryga says with very little change in the weather pattern through at least Thursday and maybe Friday, “it looks like finally by this coming weekend things will mix up a lot more.”

“But until then I see this smoke being a real issue for the next several days, with smoky days, some sun of course in the mix and hot weather persisting.”

WATCH: Michael Brauer, a professor of public health at the University of British Columbia, talks to Global News Morning about people facing health issues due to the smokey air in the South Coast.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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