The colours around Okanagan Lake took on a smoke-tinted hue earlier this month. Air quality has deteriorated as smoke from fires in the United States has blanketed much of British Columbia. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

The colours around Okanagan Lake took on a smoke-tinted hue earlier this month. Air quality has deteriorated as smoke from fires in the United States has blanketed much of British Columbia. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

The smoke has cleared, but the memory of the past couple of weeks will continue to linger.

Smoke from wildfires in the western United States drifted north, blanketing much of the province and leaving us with poor air quality.

Many could smell the smoke and feel it in their lungs and eyes.

And many will remember hazy skies and the poor visibility associated with this year’s wildfires.

The orange-tinted scenes are reminiscent of post-apocalyptic stories.

READ ALSO: Tired of the smoke? People on Facebook suggest throwing rocks at it

For those with underlying chronic health issues, particularly those with breathing difficulties, the smoke has been something far worse than an annoyance.

This year is not the only time our province has been affected by wildfire smoke.

Three of the past four summers have been defined by smoky skies as wildfires raged.

The summers of 2017 and 2018 were the worst on record for wildfires in British Columbia, and during those summers, our air quality in many parts of this province was worse than the air quality in some of the world’s most polluted cities.

Last year was a pleasant reprieve from the smoke, and this year, the fire season in British Columbia has been far less devastating than in other recent years.

However, the fires burning in Washington, Oregon and California this summer and fall have affected us just as, in past years, smoke from fires here has drifted into other parts of Canada and the United States.

Smoke does not care about provincial or international borders, and fires burning in one area can affect the air quality in another area.

And while the smoke has been a health concern for us here, those living closer to the fires have been affected much more severely.

Measures are needed to prevent or at least reduce the risk of future wildfires of this magnitude.

— Black Press

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EditorialsWildfire seasonwildfire smoke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

With a second case of COVID-19 confirmed at South Canoe Elementary, parents were advised Thursday, Jan. 14, that the school would be closed for up to two weeks. (Contributed)
UPDATE: Salmon Arm school to close temporarily after COVID-19 cases confirmed

South Canoe Outdoor Learning School may be closed for up to two weeks

Adams Lake Kukpi7 (Chief) Cliff Arnouse spearheads project to restore Upper Adams River early summer run of sockeye salmon. (File photo)
Adams Lake First Nation heads program to restore salmon habitat in Adams Lake

Chief remembers stories of Upper Adams River early summer run with sockeye weighing up to 40 pounds

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Most Read