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Smoky skies bulletin issued for South Okanagan, Boundary regions

Environment Canada says smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour, but added that precipitation is expected to reduce smoke levels by the evening. BC Wildfire Service

A smoky skies bulletin is in effect for B.C.’s South Okanagan and Boundary regions following an outbreak of wildfires in the Southern Interior.

Environment Canada issued the special air quality statement on Thursday just before 6 a.m., stating wildfire smoke will impact those areas for the next 24 to 48 hours.

The weather agency said smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour by hour, but added that precipitation is expected to reduce smoke levels by the evening.

Read more: Okanagan weather — Risk of lightning returns Friday

Environment Canada says during smoky conditions, use common sense, and suggests the following:

  • 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 at all times.
  • Make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.
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The provincial air quality health index gave the North and Central Okanagan regions a three rating on Thursday, indicating low risk.

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The South Okanagan was given two ratings: a low-risk three and a moderate-risk five in smoke regions.

The provincial air quality health index is divided into four groups: Low risk (1-3), moderate risk (4-6), high risk (7-10) and very high risk (10-plus).

For more about the provincial air quality health index, click here.

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