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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Salvation Army file photo
Salvation Army kettle drive begins Nov. 28

Hamper demand has accelerated this year

9th avenue pole moved
Hydro pole removed on 9th Avenue

The first major snowfall of the year delayed the removal and relocation… Continue reading

pinnacle pellet
Three injured at pellet plant fire

Pinnacle Pellet temporarily suspends operations

Masks are now mandatory in public places. (File image)
Police take “measured approach” to mandatory mask wearing

Fines can be levied for not complying with provincial order

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read