Environment Canada ends air quality warnings for some areas of the Southern Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Environment Canada ends air quality warnings for some areas of the Southern Interior

Environment Canada has ended air quality warnings in some areas.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
August 28, 2018 - 2:16 PM

Amidst improving conditions, Environment Canada has ended special air quality warnings for some parts of the Southern Interior but extended it for others during one of the worst fire seasons on record.

"Air quality improvements have continued early this week and many areas have experienced considerable reductions in particulate matter concentrations,” Environment Canada says in a special weather statement.

It tempers the good news with a cautionary note.

“Fire activity remains widespread however and the potential exists for smoke to return,” the statement says. “Communities downwind of wildfires will continue to experience periods of elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter and poor air quality.”

Still, Environment Canada seems to be saying the worst is over.

“Increased dispersion from the winds aloft combined with scattered showers over the coming days will lead to improvements for some regions,” the statement says.

The smoke warnings have ended in the Central Okanagan, including Kelowna, the South Thompson, including Kamloops, the Nicola, including Merritt and the Shuswap, including Salmon Arm. The regions where the air quality warnings continue are the North Okanagan, including Vernon, and the South Okanagan, including Penticton. 

In these regions, Environment Canada says smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health, the special weather statement says. People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

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