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UPDATE: Smoky skies bulletin ended for Southern Interior

Wildfire smoke is impacting the Okanagan, Nicola, Shuswap, Columbia, Boundary and Kootenay

UPDATE: 11:30a.m., Aug. 12

The smoky skies bulletin issued by Interior Health on Aug. 12 has ended.

An update to the bulletin reads that wildfire smoke has dissipated over the past 24 hours across the Southern Interior.

According to the B.C. Air Quality Health Index report, most of the region reads as a three on the index out of a possible ten, meaning low risk’.

ORIGINAL: 12p.m., Aug. 11

The Southern Interior continues to be impacted by widespread smoke stemming from various wildfires in the region.

Interior Health is issuing a smoky skies bulletin for the next 48 hours for the entire Okanagan, Nicola, Shuswap, Columbia, Boundary and Kootenay regions.

In the South Okanagan, the Keremeos Creek wildfire is currently listed at 6,712 hectares in size. In the Kootenays, the Briggs Creek wildfire is an estimated 1,679 hectares, while the Connell Ridge blaze is about 1,350 hectares. In the East Kootenay region, the Cummings Creek wildfire is almost 53 hectares in size and the Weasel Creek blaze burning near the border is an estimated 670 hectares.

Environment Canada is calling for thunderstorms Thursday afternoon which may clear the smoke, but may also lead to new fire activity.

Interior Health warns that during a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

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.

Those in the Southern Interior should monitor for symptoms as people respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.

READ MORE: Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for the Okanagan, Shuswap

READ MORE: Keremeos Creek wildfire evacuation orders rescinded for Olalla


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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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