The smoke level did rise in Penticton, as seen from this panoramic view from the Western News office late Saturday afternoon. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

UPDATE: Smoky skies forecast for Okanagan mellows

Despite a previous forecast for a high risk on Saturday, the Okanagan is now looking more moderate

UPDATE: 6 p.m.

The Okanagan has not received the smoke forecast for the area in the provincial government’s air quality health index (AQHI), though some more smoke has drifted into the area than was present in the morning.

Currently, the South Okanagan and Central Okanagan are rated at a level five (moderate) risk, while the North Okanagan is rated just at a level three (low).

The AQHI continues to forecast a level seven (high) today for all three areas, but that’s expected to drop to a level six (moderate) for central and south, and down to a level four (moderate) for the North Okanagan tonight.

The AQHI has forecast the same air quality for tomorrow for all three regions.

Kamloops, which notoriously hit level 49 ranked as high as 14 on Saturday, in a scale from one to 10, but is back down to a level seven.


ORIGINAL: 9:30 a.m.

Though the Okanagan is seeing fairly clear skies this morning, the provincial government is predicting another day heavy with wildfire smoke.

Currently, the north and central Okanagan are rated at a level two (low) risk in the air quality health index (AQHI), while the South Okanagan is rated at a level one.

That’s expected to change at some point today, however, with all three regions rated at a level seven (high) today, tonight and into tomorrow.

Seven is the same level much of the Okanagan was rated at when it woke up to a thick haze Friday morning, meaning a fairly heavy level of smoke is to be expected this weekend.

The AQHI ranks from one to 10, though there is plenty of room above a level 10 (high) risk, with everything above 10 ranking at a “very high” risk.

Earlier this week, Kamloops reached a level 49 on the table.

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


Though there wasn’t much of a view on the Okanagan Lake Friday, the beach in Penticton was seeing some use from all ages. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

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