Smoky skies and blistering heat to persist through the weekend | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Smoky skies and blistering heat to persist through the weekend

A heavy blanket of smoke is hanging over Kamloops in this July 3, 2021 photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Karen Bell
July 03, 2021 - 9:51 AM

The heat wave that has thrown the B.C. Interior into a fiery state of emergency is continuing on throughout the weekend and a smoky skies advisory is also in effect.

Environment Canada's heat warning is continued for the South Thompson, Okanagan Valley and  Boundary regions due to daytime highs ranging from 31 to 35 C combined with overnight lows of 16 to 20 C. Humidex values will reach the low 40s C.

The heat warning has ended for the Similkameen and Shuswap.
 
"An exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure over British Columbia will continue to bring record-breaking temperatures this week,"  Environment Canada said in a press release. "The duration of this heat wave is concerning as there is little relief at night with elevated overnight temperatures. This record-breaking heat event will increase the potential for heat-related illnesses and increase the risk of wildfires due to drought conditions."

Wildfires are continuing to rage in spots across the province and the Thompson Nicola region has been particularly hard hit.

The Regions of BC highlighted on the map are being impacted or are likely to be impactedby wildfire smoke over the next 24-48 hours. Smoke will continue to blanket multiple regions of the province.
The Regions of BC highlighted on the map are being impacted or are likely to be impactedby wildfire smoke over the next 24-48 hours. Smoke will continue to blanket multiple regions of the province.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Province of B.C.

As such, air quality has taken a serious dip in some parts of the region and an air quality advisory has been issued for much of the Southern Interior.

In Kamloops, for example, Environment Canada air quality is expected to get to a high risk level of eight to 10 throughout the day. The Central, South and North Okanagan is also supposed to see an increased level of smoke throughout the day with a high risk, level 7, for smoke.

The Regions of BC highlighted on the map are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24-48 hours. Smoke will continue to blanket multiple regions of the province.

During a   wildfire,    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," according to the province.  "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."


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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