VICTORIA -- South Island residents may have awoken to relatively fresh air for the first time in over a week Friday, according to the B.C. government’s Air Quality Health Index (AQHI).

While smoky skies bulletins are still in place across Vancouver Island, air quality was considered a “low” health risk – or a one on the province’s one to 10 AQHI scale – on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, air quality was considered a two, or “low” risk, in the West Shore as of 9 a.m.

Further up the island, however, air quality posed a greater health risk.

In Duncan, the AQHI in the region was a six – or a “moderate” health risk – as of 9 a.m. Similarly, in Nanaimo, air quality was considered a five on the health index scale, or “moderate,” Friday morning.

Further north, in the Comox Valley, health risks were considered “low,” or a three on the AQHI, as of 9 a.m.

Air quality across Vancouver Island is expected to worsen as the day goes on before improving again Saturday.

In Victoria and the West Shore, air quality is expected to reach “moderate” health risks, or a five on the AQHI scale, during the day. It will then drop to a four Friday night before returning to a “low” risk of three on Saturday.

Similar patterns are being predicted in Duncan and Nanaimo, with health risks to remain at “moderate” for the remainder of Friday before dropping to “low,” or a three on the AQHI scale, on Saturday.

Air quality on much of the south island reached its worst at the end of last week and the beginning of this week, when air quality was considered a 10-plus on the AQHI scale due to wildfire smoke coming from the U.S.

The latest information on B.C.’s Air Quality Health Index can be found here.