VANCOUVER — Environment Canada says smoky skies caused by wildfires burning locally and south of the border in Washington and Idaho sit over most of southeastern British Columbia, prompting the agency to release special air quality statements for the area. 

The alerts span the Okanagan and Kooteneys and extend north to the Cariboo and Yellowhead regions. 

The weather office says the most affected zones are in the southern interior, close to the Canada-U.S. border.

It says the special air quality statements are expected to persist for the next two days.

This comes as five so-called ‘wildfires of note’ continue to burn across the province, with three in the Prince George Fire Centre area and the two others in the Coastal Fire Centre region.

The BC Wildfire Service took to Twitter Sunday, saying “abnormally strong winds” were contributing to the growth and spread of the fires, while smoke had reduced visibility “limiting fire suppression operations.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Avatar photo

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press is Canada's trusted news source and leader in providing real-time, bilingual multimedia stories across print, broadcast and digital platforms. subscribes to Canadian Press articles about British Columbia news and Energy news.