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Air quality improves in B.C. as wildfire smoke moves across Prairies

VANCOUVER — A new weather system brought cleaner air and the promise of further improvements to parts of British Columbia on Saturday but conditions across the mountains were expected to worsen before getting better.

Smoke from wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington state has blanketed B.C., prompting respiratory health warnings that extended into southern Alberta and as far east as Saskatchewan Saturday.

An air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley was lifted on Saturday after 11 days as cleaner marine air flowed into the area, although the regional government warned of pockets of smoke that could vary with winds and temperature changes.  

Environment Canada said smoke began clearing across the western half of Vancouver Island early Saturday, and there should be widespread improvements further east by Sunday.

In the central portions of the province, the agency said smoke will be visible at higher elevations with potential

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