Forest fire generated smoke haze from B.C. and U.S. blazes

Smoke from the Newby Lake forest fire seen burning in Washington State southwest of Osoyoos on Friday, July 31, 2015, is partially responsible for the smoke haze in the Okanagan and Thompson.
Image Credit: Contributed/U.S. Forest Service

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Depending where you live and which way the wind is blowing, the smoke haze you see could be from B.C. forest fires — or wildfires burning south of the border in Washington State.

Environment Canada has added a chance of smoke haze to it's forecasts throughout the Thompson-Okanagan today, Aug. 2.

“The local smoke is due to a number of different forest fires burning in the southwest Interior and Washington State,” meteorologist Louis Kohanyi tells “Depending on the wind direction, the smoke is going to come from different forest fires.”

Along with the blazes burning in the Thompson-Okanagan, there are three huge wildfires burning right now in Washington State.

The 5,000 acre Newby Lake fire, just across the U.S. border southwest of Osoyoos is very active and pumping huge quantities of smoke into the air, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It’s 95 per cent contained, but there is no active fire suppression because of the intensity of the blaze.

The Wolverine Creek and Blankenship fires near Lake Chelan, south of Grand Forks, have combined to burn over 6,000 acres so far. They too are active and creating lots of smoke.

A system of cooler, wetter weather forecast for Tuesday and into Wednesday and Thursday should clear the smoke haze.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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