Air Quality Statement issued
Environment Canada has issued a Special Air Quality Statement warning of smoky skies for the Cranbrook and Kimberley areas.
“Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring,” Environment Canada said in its statement.
At this time the statement does not include the Columbia Valley, Elk Valley or Kootenay National Park.
Much of the B.C. Interior is already under air quality advisories.
A Smoky Skies Bulletin is continued for Central Okanagan including Kelowna, West Kelowna and Peachland; South Okanagan including Penticton, Summerland, Naramata, Keremenos, Oliver and Osoyoos; North Okanagan; Kinbasket including Kinbasket reservoir south of Valemount; and Yellowhead including McBride and Valemount and all communities within the southern half of the Robson Valley. A Smoky Skies Bulletin is continued for Vanderhoof and surrounding areas.
In addition, the Bulletin was this afternoon expanded to include the Boundary, Arrow Lakes and Kootenay regions as forecast winds and smoke models indicate potential for smoke from Okanagan fires to be transported to these areas during the next 24 hours.
“There is also some indication of smoke from wildfires in eastern Washington moving north into the Kootenays. In addition, there was a wildfire burning approximately 12 km northwest of Cranbrook. This bulletin will be updated tomorrow morning,” Environment Canada reported.
Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.
For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.
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.