The smoky, hazy conditions have increased the last couple of days in the Vernon area (Pete McIntyre/Beach Radio)
There has been an increase in smoke around the North Okanagan and other parts of the valley today — but officials say it’s not coming from fires in the valley.
Marla Catherall from the BC Wildfire Service says the smoke is coming from a long ways away.
“The smoke that we are seeing in the Okanagan Valley right is being reported as coming from fires in Greece, Finland and Siberia,” says Catherall.
The smoky conditions have led to a special air quality statement being issued for the Okanagan, noting that exposure to the smoke can affect health.
Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.
Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
The advice is to stay inside if you have breathing difficulties.