Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Outdoor enthusiasts might find it best to stay indoors this weekend, as the smoky skies continue to wreak havoc on lungs and block visibility of sights and views.

British Columbians have been quick to post on social media this week, showing before-and-after photos of the dusty haze moving in to cloud otherwise beautiful views.

Like a disappearing act: the mountain ranges, architecture or colourful valleys that were there last week are now replaced with an orange and grey smog.

In a photo posted by Dawn English, the smoke appears to have caused Arrow Lakes near Castlegar to completely vanish Friday.

“The photo was taken up a logging road called Deer Park,” she told Black Press Media. “The lake and the view along the road are normally gorgeous!”

Environment Canada says the smoky skies will continue for the next few days, with levels varying based on wind direction and fire activity.

“Until a significant change in the provincial weather pattern occurs, widespread air quality improvements are not expected,” it said Saturday.

The Okanagan and southern B.C. are seeing some of the worst air quality in the world this week.

Residents in Prince George woke up Friday to the skies still looking like it was nighttime.

In a provincial update on the wildfires, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said evacuation orders won’t be issued based on air quality alone.

“Smoke is really dynamic and it is changing rapidly and it comes and goes both in space and in time,” she said.

Henry said people with asthma or other health concerns should limit their exposure to the low-quality air.

“We do know this is stressful time for many people and the smoke is a visible reminder of that,” she said. “So it’s an important time to pay attention your neighbours, look out for people, make sure you have your rescue medications and have a plan in place if you’re somebody who is going to be affected by the smoke.”

Environment Canada explains how smog can get trapped in valleys.

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