Air quality takes a dip from Kelowna to Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Air quality takes a dip from Kelowna to Kamloops

The view across Okanagan Lake from Kalamoir Park today was less vibrant than usual.
November 04, 2019 - 2:51 PM

If it seems like the bright colours of fall have suddenly been muted, you’re not wrong.

A milky haze has coated the valley and Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist from Environment Canada, said it’s from the smoke from slash burns and fireplaces.

“There’s an inversion trapping all the pollutants in the valley,” Lundquist said

Overnight the Air Quality Health Index rating rose to a four in the Central Okanagan, which is considered a moderate risk to people with health issues, babies and the elderly. Across other areas of the Interior, like Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton, it was a three, which is a low risk.

That said, conditions may vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, based on what the specific conditions are.

“The good thing is, there are a number of things you can do right now to improve this,” Lundquist said.

He recommended that those who have fireplaces abstain from lighting home fires and those who do slash burns may want to wait until the venting index improves.

Lundquist said that the winds made their way into the valley from the north, so the pollution is not coming from wildfires in California.

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