Okanagan under smoky skies advisory from U.S. fires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan under smoky skies advisory from U.S. fires

A smoky sky in Peachland, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
September 08, 2020 - 11:42 AM

Most southern regions of B.C. are now under an air quality advisory from wildfire smoke pouring in from the U.S.

The smoke is expected to persist during the next 24 to 48 hours, most of it from fires burning in Washington State and California, according to the advisory. The Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Kootenays and Boundary areas are also under the advisory. It can be worse in areas immediately around the Doctor Creek and Talbott Creek wildfires burning in B.C.

READ MORE: U.S. wildfires the reason for the smoke in Okanagan

"People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure," the statement reads.

In smoky conditions, the province asks residents to monitor their symptoms, drink plenty of cold water and to stop and reduce activity if breathing becomes uncomfortable.

Running an air filter indoors, reducing smoking or frying foods are some options to help prevent smoke in homes.

Smoke will continue to hang over the Okanagan valley this week, as the smoke is currently stuck under an inversion, Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said.

Air quality in the Central and South Okanagan is listed at more than 100 PM 2.5 at this time, according to B.C. Air Quality. The scale ranges from 1 to 500+. Anything above 100 PM 2.5 is considered to carry a health risk.

The Central Okanagan currently also has a rating of "very high risk" which means the elderly population and children should avoid outdoor activities. The general population should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, according to the Air Quality Health Index.

For more information, visit the government website.


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