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Posted: September 8, 2020

Smoky skies alert issued

Environment Canada Sept. 8 issued a special air quality statement for the Columbia Valley and Cranbrook/Kimberley areas warning of smoky skies.

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

“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.

“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.

Washington State is currently being hit hard by wildfires, including one that has burned about 80% of the small town of Malden (population 203), located about 50 km southwest of Spokane.

The smoky skies bulletin does not include the Elk Valley.

e-KNOW file photo


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