August 15, 2017 10:25 pm
Updated: August 15, 2017 11:27 pm

Okanagan smoky skies making people feel blue


While Okanagan residents are keenly aware local smoke means forests are burning in B.C. and thousands remain out of their homes because of the threat of flames, the continued haze is making residents feel under the weather.

The forecast remains smokey for at least another day, with the air quality index registering at seven or ‘high risk’ in Kelowna, Tuesday mid-day.

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Some Kelowna residents like Lisa Lungul say the smoky haze is making them feel blue.

“For the last couple weeks I’ve felt lethargic, really tired, low energy,” Lungul said. “I find it a very depressing environment and how it makes me feel is depressed as well.”

Kelowna psychologist Dr. Heather McEachern said many people are affected by the adverse effects of smoke in the Okanagan.

“It does reduce sunshine and that does lead to exacerbating mental health concerns,” McEachern said. “So people that already have mental health issues will feel worse.”

But McEachern said the choking smoke can affect anyone.

“Going back to the smoke has not been easy,” she said. “It’s very difficult and it does make people sad and it lowers expectation and it changes their day to day lives.”

Global Okanagan Meteorologist Wesla Wong said there is a good chance they’ll be less smoke around Okanagan skies this weekend due to a change in weather patterns over B.C.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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