Bc Wildfire reports eight new fires in the Shuswap area as a result of lightning Tuesday, July 31. (Alana Mittertreiner photo)

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Shuswap

Special air quality statement remains in effect

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms beginning early this afternoon.

“These storms may be capable of producing heavy downpours, large hail and strong wind gusts,” Environment Canada said in a statement.

“Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors.”

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce large hail, damaging winds and or torrential rainfall.

To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

Related: Lightning sparks fires across the Shuswap

While the Shuswap remains on thunderstorm watch, smoke continues to fill the air.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” Environment Canada said.

“Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.”

People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

Related: Increased fire activity at Okanagan Mountain Park

“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,” Environment Canada said.


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