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UPDATE: Air quality statement remains in effect as wildfire smoke lingers over BC

(UPDATE: Sept. 9 @ 8:15 am): The air quality statement covering much of Southern British Columbia remains in effect today.

It has been prompted by fires in the United States and BC.

The Kootenays, Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and South Thompson are among the areas affected.

The Okanagan and parts of the Kootenays could reach a maximum of level 7 on BC’s Air Quality Health Index when it comes to smoke.

Level 1 is the lowest, while 7 is deemed “high risk.”

According to the province’s forecasts, smoke risk levels are expected to remain steady until at least Thursday.

Environment Canada explained early this morning: “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.

“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 here.

(Original story: Sept. 8 @ 8:15 am): There are smoky skies across much of the province today as wildfires continue to burn both sides of the border.

Much of British Columbia’s south is affected, with the Kootenays worst-hit.

The Doctor Creek (now about 8,000 hectares) and Talbott Creek (over 500 hectares) wildfires are part of the cause in the southeast.

<who> Photo credit: FireSmoke Canada </who> The smoke forecast for noon today.

Talbott Creek is likewise responsible for some of the smoke in the Okanagan and further west, but fires in the US are also contributing.

In the Okanagan, the smoke is expected to worsen on Tuesday afternoon.

<who> Photo credit: NowMedia </who> The sky in Penticton this morning.The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said yesterday that a wildfire in Washington that is visible from Midway and Grand Forks is producing “a large column of smoke."

“The fire is located in the United States, approximately 12 kilometres southeast of the community of Midway and is estimated to be 16 hectares in size,” BCWS explained.

<who> Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Kelowna this morning.

Environment Canada has warned people near the Doctor Creek and Talbott Creek wildfires that the air could be affected over the next two days.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” the agency explained.

“Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

“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.”

<who> Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Penticton this morning.

Read more here.



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