Kamloops News

Dirty air causes health hazard across Interior, flight cancellations at Kamloops airport

Smoky skies in Kamloops, July 29, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Karen Bell

As smoke continues to hang over the Thompson Okanagan due to wildfires in the area, the Kamloops airport announced flights were cancelled this morning.

“Smoky conditions have caused a few flights to be cancelled this morning. If you are travelling, please check with your airline on your flight status,” according to the airport’s latest Tweet.

 

Derek Lee, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the general smoky trend for the valley will likely persist into the week.

“We will be an increase in clouds this afternoon with a chance of thunderstorms in the Kamloops region so not much to speak of there for improvement but it looks like the sun and warm temperatures will return back on Tuesday and Wednesday as well and that might also keep things warm and stagnant so the smoke has a better chance of staying in the region until next week,” he said.

It will likely take a while for the air quality to improve depending on the wildfire situation.

BreezoMeter, an online tool used to rate air quality, uses a scale from 1-100, with 100 being the best air quality. Currently, Kamloops has a rating of 19, while Okanagan cities, like Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton all have ratings under 10.

Castlegar is also reporting worse air quality than Kamloops, Lee said.

New Dehli, a city in India known for some of the world’s worst air quality, has a rating of 12, according to Breezometre.

B.C.’s Interior has some of the worst air quality in Canada, according to Breezometre, with other locations mapping low air quality in Saskatchewan and Manitoba due to wildfires.

Special smoky air quality advisories are in effect for most of the province’s Interior.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” according to Environment Canada.

Environment Canada recommends keeping windows and doors closed to keep out the smoke.

 


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