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Wildfire smoke expected to sink into the Okanagan, Shuswap

Click to play video: 'Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies'
Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies
WATCH: Humans and nature aren't the only things affected by the smoky skies, it can hurt your pets too. Sydney Morton spoke with West Kelowna veterinarian Dr. Oz to find out how to keep your pets safe in poor air quality – Aug 1, 2021

Much of B.C.’s Southern Interior has had a relatively smoke-free summer but that may end in the days ahead.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement Thursday, forecasting smoke for the South Thompson, Nicola, North Okanagan, Central Okanagan, Shuswap and Boundary areas.

The South Okanagan is already under a haze of smoke and the special air quality statement for that region has been in place for days.

Click to play video: 'Smoky skies cover Keremeos Creek wildfire'
Smoky skies cover Keremeos Creek wildfire

“Thunderstorms and convection today may clear the smoke, but may also lead to new fire activity,” reads the statement.

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Environment Canada has an Air Quality Health Index page where pollution levels are ranked. By midday Thursday, it’s ranked at a low risk and was expected to remain so throughout the day.

Read more: South Okanagan couple works to save home from Keremeos Creek wildfire

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That said, during a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

“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,” the report reads.

Click to play video: 'What impact does the smoke have on tourism?'
What impact does the smoke have on tourism?

If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure.

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Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.

For more details, click here.

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