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Smoky skies continue, no end in sight to fire season

Image Credit: Brooke Proskiw
August 25, 2015 - 1:06 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - With smoke-filled skies and reports of new fires almost every day, it begs the question that’s on everyone’s mind: When will this end?

“It’s a good question. There is no hard and fast measure that tells us when things are done. Every season is its own animal,” Kevin Skrepnek says.

And B.C. Wildfire’s chief fire information officer says looking at past fire seasons isn’t a great help either.

“2014 was a fairly active season, but with the exception of some flashy grass fires, activity had begun to decrease by early September,” Kevin Skrepnek says. “But then in 2012, which was a fairly quiet season, we saw fire activity lingering on until early October.”

Skrepnek adds that, as far as fire weather goes, they can only look out three to five days. The long-range forecast for Western Canada is continued warm and dry weather, which could mean a late end to the current season.

The smoky skies advisory issued Sunday by the environment ministry is still in place for the third day, forcing many in the region to stay indoors. The smoke is mainly from the Stickpin fire in the U.S., burning on the border south of Grand Forks.

While skies were lighter this morning, the B.C. Air Quality Index is predicting very high readings of 11 in the South and Central Okanagan tonight while the North Okanagan will experience readings of as much as nine. The Thompson region will reach an index reading of six by the evening.

All regions are predicted to experience higher readings tomorrow.

A reading of 11 or greater is considered to be very high with the greatest impact on those with respiratory or heart problems.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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