A smoky skies bullentin and heat advisory remain for much of the Okanagan-Similkameen on Sunday. Photo courtesy of PentictonSup/instagram

Smoky skies and hot weather warning for Okanagan region

A smoky skies bulletin remains in the region as well as a heat warning for some areas

A smoky skies bulletin still hangs in Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen due to effects from local wildfires and large scale smoke from distant wildfires.

The B.C. Air Quality reported that wildfires as far away as Eurasia are also contributing to smoke across the province.

Related: Sustained heat causing lots of smoke from Mount Eneas wildfire

The Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen region is ranked at a low-risk (rank 2) on Sunday morning and is forecasted to shift to a moderate (rank 4) later today and tonight.

A heat warning is also in effect for the central, south and north Okanagan as temperatures reaching 35 to 40 C will continue. Environment Canada reminds people to take precautions including staying hydrated, spending time in an air-conditioned facility, avoid sunburn by applying sunscreen of spa 30 or more and to never leave people or pets in a parked car.

The smoky skies bulletin states that during a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour. As well that it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

Follow your common sense

A description of highlighted region(s) are provided at the end of the bulletin.

• Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes difficult or you feel unwell.

• Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.

• Carry any rescue medications with you at all times.

• Make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.

Monitor your symptoms

• Different people have different responses to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.

• People with asthma or other chronic illness should activate the personal care plans they have designed with their family physicians.

• If you are unsure whether you need medical care, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

• If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, or a severe cough, contact your health care provider, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Tips to reduce your exposure

• Smoke levels may be lower indoors but will still be elevated, so stay aware of your symptoms even when you are indoors.

• Running a commercially available HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can improve indoor air quality in the room where the device is located.

• If you have a forced air heating/cooling system in your home, it may help to change the filter and set the fan to run continuously.

• Reduce indoor air pollution sources such as smoking, burning incense, and frying foods.

• Consider going to a library, community center, or shopping mall with cooler filtered air to get some relief from the smoke.

• If travelling in a car with air conditioning, keep the windows up and the ventilation set to recirculate.

• If you are very sensitive to smoke, consider moving to another location with cleaner air, but be aware that conditions can change rapidly.

• Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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