Smoke has filled the air throughout the entire Okanagan Valley, and it’s not just from the new Blue Mountain wildfire west of Penticton.
A smoky skies bulletin has been issued for most of the Interior as well as northeastern B.C.
According to the provincial government air quality warning, the smoke is largely due to long-range transport from wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon.
Some smoke may clear in some areas Saturday afternoon as an upper level low moves through the southern Interior. However, current conditions are expected to persist in most areas overnight.
“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” the bulletin states.
The province urges people to be mindful that smoke exposure could affect your health. People with pre-existing conditions, respiratory infections including COVID-19, older adults pregnant women and infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from exposure to smoke.
When the air is smoky, people are advised to:
• Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you feel unwell.
• Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.
• If you have asthma or other chronic illness, carry any rescue (fast-acting) medications with you at all times and activate your personal care plan that has been designed with your family physician.
• Make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.