Air quality at high health risk in Okanagan Valley

Forecasters expect wildfire smoke to stick around through the weekend

The air quality health index had forecasted a better Friday for the Okanagan region earlier this week, however it has gotten worse.

The North, Central and South Okanagan currently sit at seven (high health risk) on the scale and is expected to stay there for the remainder of the day. Kamloops is currently at a eight and forecasted to move to a 10 on the scale later today and into tomorrow. Details on the ratings can be found by clicking here.

Related: Kamloops air pollution double the level that triggered 2015 ‘red alert’ in China

Alyssa Charbonneau, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the general weather pattern is not changing significantly over the next few days.

“We do expect wildfire smoke to still have an impact through the weekend … hot and dry conditions will continue and it is really hard to tell how that wildfire smoke will impact the area as there will be small variations in wind. We don’t think we will be done with the smoke anytime soon.”

Charbonneau said northernly winds have swept through part of the Central Interior clearing that area out a bit. Those winds could cause some variation in the smoke in the air in the Okanagan region, but she doesn’t expect the winds to persist for long.

“It could be quite stagnant after that.”

A special air quality bulletin remains in effect for the entire Okanagan due to smoke conditions. Areas covered by this Bulletin include: 100 Mile, Arrow Lakes, Boundary, Cariboo North, Cariboo South, Chilcotin, East Columbia, East Kootenay, Elk Valley, Fraser Canyon, Kinbasket, Kootenay Lake, Kootenay Park, Nicola, North Columbia, North Thompson, Okanagan, Prince George, Shuswap, Similkameen, Slocan Lake, South Thompson, West Columbia, West Kootenay, Yellowhead, and Yoho Park.

It is being advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

This bulletin will remain in effect until further notice.

Just Posted

RCMP hunt for suspect in West Kelowna bank robbery

Suspect used a note and fled bank Saturday with an undisclosed amount of cash

Community Leader Awards: Shelley Pacholok

The Kelowna Capital News honours those who give back in the community

International Arts Festival returns to Kelowna

Living Things is a month-long festival with live performances by artists from around the world

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Kelowna Art Gallery members’ exhibition offers variety of media

Encounters will be held from Dec. 2 to Feb. 3

Vehicle with dog inside stolen from Oliver gas station

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

PIGS bring Pink Floyd sound to Kelowna

Victoria band pays tribute to iconic British band on Feb. 10 at Mary Irwin Theatre

Letter: Another flagger dies; when will you slow down?

You have all seen our signs, trucks and my favorite our cones. Why don’t you slow down?

Kelowna-developed technology to be unveiled at Summerhill

Kelowna winery and tech company introduces new technology for phone or tablet

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

Most Read