Air quality has improved in some areas of BC — but it’s still bad in the Interior.
Vernon’s air quality health index is at 10, or very high risk this morning.
Kelowna is current at 7, which is high risk.
Environment Canada says very little improvement from the smoky conditions is expected over the next few days.
The agency says “Communities downwind of wildfires will continue to experience high concentrations of fine particulate matter and poor air quality for the foreseeable future.”
Some stiff winds blew-out the smoke around Vernon Thursday afternoon — but it also carried in stronger smelling smoke from other areas a few hours later.
Last night’s Civic Sounds in Vernon was cancelled due to the air quality, and the Kalamalka Classic Stand Up Paddleboard Festival has been scrapped this weekend.
“The event is a huge part of the paddling community both locally and provincially so this was the hardest decision we’ve had to make in it’s 9 years,” said Kevin O’Brien, Race Director. “We wanted to give paddlers as much advance notice as possible by having as much possible forecast knowledge in hand at that time.”
Environment Canada is advising people to stay inside if they have breathing difficulties. “Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated,” reads a special air quality statement. “Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.”