B.C. wildfire haze in Vancouver [SPECIAL VIDEO FEATURE]

BC wildfire haze in Vancouver - Vancouver Observer - Mychaylo Prystupa

Special Vancouver Observer video feature about what's behind the wildfire haze in Vancouver, the health concerns, and the climate change worries.  

Video shot and produced by Mychaylo Prystupa.  

Read the full text here:

Professor Douw Steyn – UBC Atmospheric Sciences

So, what they’re seeing in the air is fine particles generated by forest fires. The fine particles are respired to irradiance, because they contain unburned oils and fine ash particles, and at the levels we are seeing at the moment the people with respiratory difficulties will be affected.

Merlin Bartschi – Mathematician

Yesterday, there was a big fire and there was a lot of smoke and maybe ash in the air, so I starting getting a pretty bad cough and to avoid it getting worse, I started wearing a mask.

Claudia Stough – New Jersey Tourist

We’re about to go on a cruise and we’re hoping that the haze lifts, so that we’ll be able to see the beautiful countryside of Alaska and Canada. But, it is a concern. It is a health concern when there’s always a fire like this.

MP – Even as a tourist?

Stough – Even as a tourist.

Minister Steve Thomson – Forests, Lands & Natural Resources

People should obey all the regulations that are in place, the campfire bans that are in place. They should understand the impacts of irresponsible action in terms of cigarettes outside car windows and things like that.

Professor Lori Daniels – UBC Forestry ecologist

Well the fire season that we’re seeing this year is pretty much what we have been projecting for the last decade in terms of changes in the fire regime that we would anticipate as climate changes. So, this year we’ve had the el Niño being enhanced by that warm water that we keep hearing about being reported off the coast of B.C., and this has happened in the past, but I think a really key difference is that in the past it happened every once in a while. What we’ve seen in the past decade is back-to-back enhanced El Niño, we’ve seen warm, dry conditions, so that we’re getting these hot, dry summers more frequently.

The catch with climate change is that instead of those being the exception to the rule, they’re becoming the rule. They’re the new norm. So, my kids and grandchildren, this is going to be their average summer. So, we’re going to be in conditions where it’s hotter and drier and more conducive to forest fires in British Columbia.

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