Smoky skies to linger in the South Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Smoky skies to linger in the South Okanagan

The Christie Mountain wildfire has grown to 1,400 ha and forced the evacuation of residents of Heritage Hills yesterday afternoon, Aug. 18, 2020.
August 22, 2020 - 8:26 AM

Smoke is expected to remain in the South Okanagan for the next 24 to 48 hours, according to the Ministry of Environment.

A special air quality statement has been issued for smoky skies in the South Okanagan.

"The above regions of B.C. are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24-48 hours," the report states.

"Smoke from the Christie Mountain wildfire is expected to impact the South Okanagan through the weekend."

Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.

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 mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

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.

During smoky conditions, health officials say to stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you feel unwell.

If you have asthma or other chronic illness, carry any rescue (fast-acting) medications with you at all times and activate your personal care plan that has been designed with your family physician.

Make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.

If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure.  For more details, please consult Environment Canada.

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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