Smoky skies smothering B.C.’s Southern Interior expected to last through Thursday – Okanagan

With U.S. wildfire smoke still choking Okanagan skies with grey haze, yet another special air quality statement has been issued for B.C.’s Southern Interior.

Last Tuesday, smoke from wildfires in the states of California, Oregon and Washington drifted northwards, prompting what would be the first of a consecutive string of smoky skies bulletins and air quality statements for the region.

In the Southern Interior on that day, B.C.’s air quality health index (AQHI) rose sharply from low in the morning to its maximum setting.

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Read more:
Wildfire smoke from western U.S. settles over Alberta

With the seemingly stationary smoke still blocking views, Environment Canada issued yet another special air quality statement for the Okanagan on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

As of 10:30 a.m., AQHI levels were at the maximum 10-plus rating, as were other communities in southern B.C., including Castlegar, Comox, Nanaimo, Duncan, Victoria, the Fraser Valley and parts of Greater Vancouver.

Kamloops and Squamish had moderate ratings at 6, with Whistler and Prince Geroge. Elsewhere, Quesnel, Fort St. John, Smithers and Terrace were at 1, or low.






Smoky skies remain over many parts of B.C. Tuesday


Smoky skies remain over many parts of B.C. Tuesday

“Very heavy smoke from the United States is continuing to have extensive impacts across the southern third of the province, with lesser impacts extending into the mid-regions of the province,” said Environment Canada.

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“Smoky conditions are expected to be variable but persist in areas currently being impacted until Thursday (Sept 17).”

Global News meteorologist Mark Madryga says there will be very little rain, if any, in most southern B.C. areas through Thursday.

He says along with weak wind, the smoke will remain, though it may thin during the afternoon with daytime heat.






Smoke from wildfires over Calgary


Smoke from wildfires over Calgary




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Smoky skies bulletin for B.C.’s Southern Interior extended for a third consecutive day



a close up of a map: A screenshot of wildfire smoke projection for 12 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.


© FireSmoke.ca
A screenshot of wildfire smoke projection for 12 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.

A smoky skies advisory issued earlier in the week for most of B.C.’s Southern Interior has been extended for a third straight day.

On Thursday, provincial health officials said while wildfire smoke levels have dropped since Tuesday, many areas will continue to be impacted during the next 24 to 48 hours.

According to the province, forecast models show the potential for U.S. wildfire smoke intermittently blanketing parts of southern B.C.

Read more: Okanagan weather: Smoke from wildfires to thicken in valley

“With falling temperatures overnight, temperature inversions in mountain valleys can increase the likelihood of smoke being trapped near the ground,” said the province.

The bulletin added that areas near the Talbott Creek, Doctor Creek and Woodbury Creek wildfires in the Kootenays will continue to be impacted by smoke.

In the Okanagan, the air quality health index (AQHI) is listed at 2, or low, across the region.

On Wednesday, the North and Central Okanagan were listed at 2, while the South Okanagan was rated at 3.

On Tuesday, though, rankings for the Central and South shot up from 2 to 10-plus, with the North rated at 7.

A website dedicated to wildfire smoke projections, FireSmoke Canada, is forecasting ebbs and flows of wildfire smoke through the weekend.

For example, its projected forecast for Friday morning shows no smoke over the Okanagan, but come Friday night, a build-up of smoke will stretch from mid-Vancouver Island to the East Kootenays, reaching as far north as Kelowna.

For more about FireSmoke Canada, click here.

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Smoky skies bulletin extended for B.C.’s Southern Interior



a view of a large city landscape: A view of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake on Wednesday. The provincial government says smoke concentrations have improved in many areas since Tuesday, but that some smoky sections are still being observed.


© Global News
A view of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake on Wednesday. The provincial government says smoke concentrations have improved in many areas since Tuesday, but that some smoky sections are still being observed.

The smoky skies bulletin that was issued for B.C.’s Southern Interior on Tuesday has continued into Wednesday.

With smoke drifting northward from wildfires in the U.S., many sections of southern B.C. were blanketed by smoke on Tuesday afternoon.

But as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, smoke levels throughout the valley have dissipated greatly, but not entirely.

Read more: Air quality advisory expanded for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley

“Smoke concentrations have improved in many areas over the last 24 hours,” said the provincial government. “However, some impacts are still being observed.

“The fires in Washington and Oregon continue to show extreme fire behaviour and there is continued potential for southern B.C. to receive long-range transport of wildfire smoke from the United States.”

Shortly after noon on Tuesday, the Central and South Okanagan regions were listed at 10-plus, the highest rating, on B.C.’s air quality health index (AQHI).

The North Okanagan, meanwhile, was given a 7 rating, or high.

As for AQHI levels on Wednesday, the North and Central were listed at 2, or low, while the South was a tad higher at 3, but still in the low category.

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

For more about the smoky skies bulletin, click here.

To view projected wildfire smoke forecasts from FireSmoke.ca, click here.

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