Residents of southern British Columbia were breathing a little easier Saturday morning, as smoke from wildfires on the U.S. west coast finally began to clear.
Metro Vancouver lifted an 11-day old air quality advisory for the regional district and the Fraser Valley on Saturday afternoon.
For the first time in more than a week, the province’s Air Quality Health Index also rated most regions across the southern half of the province as “low risk.”
Exceptions remained in Castlegar, which retained a rating of 10+, or “very high risk,” the South Okanagan and Cranbrook, which were rated “high” and the Central Okanagan, which remained at “moderate risk.”
“Air quality has continued to improve since yesterday, but ground-level smoke still remains,” said Environment Canada in a bulletin issued early Saturday morning.
“A weather system is expected to bring further improvements through the weekend.”
Metro Vancouver has been under an air quality advisory due to the fires for 11 days.
People with underlying health conditions, seniors and young children remain advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activity.