UPDATE: 11:30a.m., Aug. 12
The smoky skies bulletin issued by Interior Health on Aug. 12 has ended.
An update to the bulletin reads that wildfire smoke has dissipated over the past 24 hours across the Southern Interior.
Friday: The Smoky Skies Bulletin that was last updated on August 11, 2022 has ended. Wildfire smoke concentrations have reduced over the past 24 hours. Smoke may continue to be visible near active fires.— Env Report BC (@EnvReportBC) August 12, 2022
Details: https://t.co/FmMetW0UlI#airquality #smokyskies #bc
According to the B.C. Air Quality Health Index report, most of the region reads as a three on the index out of a possible ten, meaning low risk’.
ORIGINAL: 12p.m., Aug. 11
The Southern Interior continues to be impacted by widespread smoke stemming from various wildfires in the region.
Interior Health is issuing a smoky skies bulletin for the next 48 hours for the entire Okanagan, Nicola, Shuswap, Columbia, Boundary and Kootenay regions.
In the South Okanagan, the Keremeos Creek wildfire is currently listed at 6,712 hectares in size. In the Kootenays, the Briggs Creek wildfire is an estimated 1,679 hectares, while the Connell Ridge blaze is about 1,350 hectares. In the East Kootenay region, the Cummings Creek wildfire is almost 53 hectares in size and the Weasel Creek blaze burning near the border is an estimated 670 hectares.
Environment Canada is calling for thunderstorms Thursday afternoon which may clear the smoke, but may also lead to new fire activity.
Interior Health warns that 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.
Those in the Southern Interior should monitor for symptoms as people respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.