As seen from space: Wildfire smoke blankets parts of B.C.
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, July 6, 2015 7:30AM EDT
Vancouver, along with towns and cities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast were blanketed in a haze of ash and smoke as forest fires continue to burn across the province, creating a cloud large enough to be seen from space.
Four fires on Vancouver Island and along the Sunshine Coast contributed to a mass of smoke clearly visible from space.
The haze was so severe in Vancouver Sunday, that an air quality advisory was issued, with officials warning the elderly and anyone with lung conditions to stay indoors.
Air quality was worst in northwest and northeast Metro Vancouver, with conditions expected to continue throughout Monday.
On Sunday, ash covered homes and cars, while the haze left skies an eerie orange colour.
"We're basically being hit from all sides by fire activity," said Roger Quan, director of air quality and environment with Metro Vancouver.
According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, fires from Vancouver Island as well as others in the Interior of B.C. contributed to the smoky haze seen across southwest part of the province.
The orange glow is caused by particles in the atmosphere that are reflecting light in different ways, he added.
Concerned residents took to social media, with many posting photos of the haze while others poked fun at the situation, even drawing comparisons to the apocalypse.
Unlike the wildfires in Saskatchewan that have prompted the evacuations of thousands, in B.C. hundreds have been evacuated from homes across the province.
A fire near Kelowna prompted evacuation orders that were lifted over the weekend. Near Nelson, 350 residences are on evacuation alert due to a 150 hectare blaze burning near the city.
As of Sunday, a total of 865 wildfires have burned 221, 455 hectares in B.C. In 2014, 369, 169 hectares burned, with $297.9 million spent on fire suppression.