The Okanagan Valley remains under a smoky skies bulletin issued by the B.C. government.
The air quality health index for the North and Central Okanagan remains at 10-plus, or very high, for particulate matter due to wildfire smoke.
That is expected to continue through Monday night and into tomorrow.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth urges residents to pay attention to the smoke advisories and follow doctors’ orders.
“The best we can hope for right now is a change in the weather that will allow either winds to blow the smoke away or what we really all want is a good, old-fashioned, week-long drenching of rain,” Farnworth admitted during a news conference Monday afternoon.
There are dozens of advisories across the province.
Interior Health has released the following advice:
— Reduce outdoor activity on smoky days.
— Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.
— People with asthma or other chronic illness should activate their personal care plans and carry any rescue medications with them at all times.
— Find clean air shelters such as libraries, community centres, and shopping malls as they often have cleaner, cooler air than smaller buildings or the outdoors.
— Consider purchasing a commercially available HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter and creating a clean air shelter in one room of your home.
— Pay attention to local air quality reportsand the conditions around you because smoke levels can change over short periods and over small distances. A heavy haze, possibly accompanied by the smell of smoke, can indicate that smoke levels are higher than usual. Check the Air Quality Health Index in your area.
— Travel to areas with better air quality – conditions can vary greatly across geographic areas and elevations. See Environment and Climate Change Canada’s smoke forecast map for more information.
For general information about smoke and your health, contact HealthLinkBC toll free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 8-1-1.