Okanagan air quality plummets as fires rage

The current Air Quality Health Index rating is seven, which is a high risk to health.

A new blanket of smoke has covered much of the southern Interior.

Mirroring the conditions of the last long weekend, residents from Lumby to Penticton and Kamloops to Salmon Arm likely saw a grey haze from the fires move in.

RELATED: PEACHLAND FIRE RAGES OUT OF CONTROL

The Air Quality Health Index rating for the South, Central and North Okanagan is seven, which is considered a high risk to health.

The worst of it is in Kamloops, which now has an AQHI rating of nine.

The smoke may cause symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels.

Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits. Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties.

The Ministry of Health says area residents should 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.

For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca. Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Possible rainfall rates of up to 25 milimetres in one hour.

STEM summer camps focus on math, science learning

Programs offered at UBCO campus encourage hands-on fun

Futures court stars make stop in Kelowna

Kelowna Futures Tennis Tournament goes June 25 to July 1 at Parkinson Rec Centre courts

Blasting warning for West Kelowna

West Kelowna permit issued for blasting to start this week

Glenrosa residents asked to secure garbage

WildSafeB.C. issues warning about bears

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

Pippins halt Falcons’ winning streak at 3

YAKIMA, WA. – The Kelowna Falcons had their three-game West Coast League… Continue reading

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Host nation Russia remains unbeaten in Group A, tied with Uruguay

Star Gazing: Using a large telescope

Ken Tapping, astronomer with the National Research Council’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

Temperature records broken across B.C., again

The first heat wave of the season went out with a bang across the province

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa

The introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion

Police chief calls for mass casualty plan in Saskatchewan after Broncos crash

Former Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said the office was tasked with creating such a plan 13 years ago but none exists

U.S. schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct acted as a team physician at other universities

Most Read