Okanagan’s air quality takes a nose-dive; Kamloops improves slightly | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan’s air quality takes a nose-dive; Kamloops improves slightly

July 27, 2021 - 6:00 PM

Air quality in the Central and North Okanagan worsened dramatically over the course of the day today as Kamloops improved slightly.

By 4:45 p.m., the provincial Air Quality Health Index ranked Central and North Okanagan air quality at 10+. Their scale goes from one to 10 with 10 being the highest risk to health so 10+ pushes that off the scale. Kamloops was listed at 10 while there was no reading available for the South Okanagan.

That index reports air quality based on a number of contaminants over large geographic areas, such as the Central, South and North Okanagan.

Purpleair.com is a website that has a number of stations in the region and reports on particles below 2.5 microns in size. These are the most harmful particles caused by wildfires and the higher the number, the worse the air quality.

Kelowna has one downtown station that read 160 parts per million at 4:45 p.m. but Peachland's two stations were at 340 and 357, West Kelowna was at 317 and Okanagan Mission registered 309 parts per million.

There are two stations near downtown Vernon that read 250 and 274.

There are about two dozen stations in and around Kamloops.

The worst air quality there was downtown with readings at six stations ranging from 209 to 274. Ironically, the lowest readings in that city were only a few blocks to the east, near 8th Avenue, where readings at two stations were 34 and 35.

There are no stations on the site in the South Okanagan.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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