Wildfire smoke expected to impact North and Central Okanagan this weekend | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wildfire smoke expected to impact North and Central Okanagan this weekend

The White Rock Lake wildfire, Aug. 22, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Dee Jack
August 28, 2021 - 9:17 AM

Environment Canada is warning residents in the North and Central Okanagan that wildfire smoke will likely persist in the region this weekend.

An air quality statement was issued by Environment Canada early this morning for both regions, including Kelowna and Vernon.

Two large wildfires are currently burning within the two regions, the White Rock Lake wildfire and Mt Law wildfire.

READ MORE: Canadian Armed Forces arrive today to help with wildfire burning in North, Central Okanagan

“Weather and smoke conditions will be variable within each region; expect local smoke impacts. Local precipitation may alleviate conditions in some areas,” according to the Environment Canada statement.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.”

Both the North and Central Okanagan are expected to reach an air quality rating of four out of 10 on the air quality index, meaning there will be a moderate health risk. The province recommends reducing and avoiding strenuous outdoor activities.

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, according to Environment Canada.

"Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned," according to Environment Canada.


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