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. (Contributed)

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. (Contributed)

Special air quality statement in effect for Okanagan Valley

Wildfire smoke from the United States has impacted air quality levels throughout much of southern BC

A special air quality statement is in effect for the entire Okanagan.

According to Environment Canada, long-range transport of wildfire smoke from the United States has impacted air quality levels throughout much of southern BC including the Island, coastal mainland, the Okanagan, as well as the Kootenays and boundary. Localized impacts in the East and West Kootenays are expected from the Doctor Creek and Talbott Creek wildfires.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour. Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health,” said Environment Canada in a statement.

“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.”

READ MORE: B.C. records 429 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths over Labour Day long weekend

If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.

For more information on current air quality, click here.

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.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

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Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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