Tuesday morning sun rise in Penticton was coloured by the dense smoke from wildfires. Mark Brett/Western News

Smoke blankets the Okanagan

Smoky skies bulletin released by Interior Health and Ministry of Environment

Air quality around the Okanagan will be at a moderate risk on Tuesday as smoke hovers in the valley from wildfires.

A smoky skies bulletin was released Tuesday morning from the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health for the Central, North and South Okanagan as smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility.

According to the B.C. air quality health index the South Okanagan and North Okanagan are forecasted at a four (moderate risk) out of 10 (high risk). The forecast maximums could raise to a seven (high risk in smoke).

In the Central Okanagan the current level is five (moderate) and forecasted to move to four later today and tomorrow.

For the at-risk population it is suggested to consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you are experiencing symptoms. Find out if you are at risk by clicking here.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. 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.

For the general population there is no need to modify usual outdoor activities unless you experience symptoms such as coughing, difficulty in breathing, chest pain and throat irritation.

Tomorrow the North Okanagan is forecasted to experience a high of seven (high risk) on the air quality health index. If it does reach that level it is recommended that children and the elderly should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors.

For more information on current air quality visit www.bcairquality.ca.

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