Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System is showing that local smoke is coming from fires in Washington, in forecast modeling from Sept. 8, 2020 (Blue Sky Canada)

Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System is showing that local smoke is coming from fires in Washington, in forecast modeling from Sept. 8, 2020 (Blue Sky Canada)

Smoky Skies Alert issued for southern B.C. due to fires in Washington

Forecasting model illustrates drifting smoke hundreds of miles from fires

A forecast modeling system shows just how much smoke is drifting from fires in Washington and Idaho over southern B.C.

The Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System tracks and forecasts smoke as it drifts through air sheds, sparking enough of a concern for the government to release a Smokey Skies Bulletin on Sept. 8.

The regions most affected by the “long range transport” of the smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours will be Vancouver Island, the coastal mainland, Okanagan, Kootenays, and the Boundary region. The map in the bulletin also includes the Fraser Valley.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” the bulletin states. “Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

They advise people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID19, as well as older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

READ MORE: “We’ll have to see”: Painted Rock Winery’s future uncertain as Okanagan wildfire rages

Tips they offer include:

• 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.

• Monitor your symptoms.

• 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.

Air Quality is changing to moderate or high on the AQHI scale, as well.

The highest is in the Central and South Okanagan, at 10+, while areas with High AQHI today (Sept. 8) include Duncan, some areas of Metro Vancouver, and the North Okanagan.

READ MORE: Heat warnings posted for parts of B.C. as temperature records have tumbled


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

air qualityWeatherWildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

Selkirk College’s Tenth St. Campus in Nelson is among the locations where Interior Health will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine within the West Kootenay. Photo: Selkirk College
West Kootenay vaccine locations announced

Interior Health has released a list of places to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
Father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

The Trail Smoke Eaters hope to hear news this week on a potential return to play. Photo: Jim Bailey
Smoke Eaters, league still wait for go ahead from province

The BCHL is trying to work out a return to play plan with the province

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read