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.

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.

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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, click here.

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October: One of the Best Months to Garden in Southern California

Cooler weather and pleasant breezes are usually the norm in October, making it one of the best months to garden in southern California.

Plant And Upgrade Lawns: October is the ideal time of the year to replace lawns or patch bald spots with seed or sod. New lawns need lots of water to take root. Shorter days and milder October temperatures will cause less stress on new plantings. Grasses that do well in southern California include fescue, Bermuda and St. Augustine (the last two go dormant in winter). For existing lawns, now is a good time to dethatch and aerate your lawn.

Start A New Herb Garden: There’s nothing like fresh herbs from the garden. Enjoy them in fall and winter by planting now. Add already sprouting chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, parsley and rosemary.

Fertilize Citrus in Early October: Nitrogen should be applied to citrus trees in late summer/early fall. If you haven’t already, fertilize trees in October. No need to apply fertilizer to newly planted trees. The more mature and larger the tree, the more fertilizer to use. Make sure to water the soil around the tree before and after fertilizing. Add the specified amount shown on the fertilizer container along the tree’s drip line and mix into the soil.

Plant Native Shrubs: Native shrubs planted now have time to establish themselves during fall and winter, which will lead to a healthy growth spurt in spring. Shrubs that do particularly well are California wild lilac, lemonade berry, blue elderberry, black sage and varieties of manzanita.

Plant Vegetables: Whether in the ground or in pots, start your fall vegetable garden by first removing any remaining summer vegetables. Add nutrient-rich, well-draining soil amendments. Add a six-pack of vegetable plants and water as needed. Vegetables that can be planted in October include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, celery, onions, garlic, peas, radishes and spinach.

A Water-Friendly Landscape: If you’re considering introducing water-friendly elements to your landscape, now is the time. You can do it yourself or hire a landscaper. Plant types that do nicely with little water are tall grasses, succulents and just about any type of native plant or shrub. Install a drip irrigation system to your new landscape since it is more efficient than watering with sprinklers.

Divide Perennials: After a few years, perennials begin to form large clumps and tend to look barren in the middle. Keep your perennials at their best by gently dividing and loosening them at their roots and planting the new smaller plants elsewhere in the garden. Make sure to replace the soil around the original plant.…

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Begin Your Own Organic Garden in Southern California

Starting an organic garden in town can be a rewarding experience in many ways. As the inclination of rising food costs expands across the globe, the return to the land is becoming an intelligent and more affordable way to eat well. For Southern California residents who are concerned about caring for their environment and giving back to the land rather than contributing to its growing deterioration, organic gardening can be an effective step towards the preservation of the earth. You may need to make conscious adjustments in your spending habits and daily schedule, but you will swiftly learn to appreciate the rewards that come with growing your own produce.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just getting started on your first endeavor in cultivating the land, there are some tips you should know for beginning any type of organic garden in the city. The main trick to gardening organically is figuring out how to work with nature in its original landscape and weather conditions at your specific plot of land. The difficulty these days comes in overcoming the ways the natural landscape has been disturbed by chemicals and unnatural landscaping conditions over the course of several decades. It will take a little extra effort on your part to recondition potentially damaged earth, but nature is generally forgiving and will restore itself to its proper state as you persist in treating it with TLC.

Strategize to Reduce Your Work and Maximize Your Garden’s Production

After years of heightened use of fertilizers and pesticides, gardeners have lost the habit of planning in ways that will prompt nature to care for itself. Rather than trying to completely manage the garden with unnatural techniques, the idea is to create systems that allow the garden to do much of the work itself. As you begin plans for your organic garden, you will want to pay careful consideration to valuable insects, companion planting practices and the native plants which grow best in the weather and soil condition in this area of Southern California. You should also think about ways that you can attract pollinating insects, butterflies and birds which will keep back the arrival of harmful pests.

One of the most important priorities for creating a plot where an organic garden can thrive should be in the multiplication of organic matter within the garden. The more organic material you can add to the soil, whether it be with compost or another mulching material, the better the soil will become and the higher the production of your garden will be in the coming years. Organic material helps to neutralize the effects of harm that has been created by chemical fertilizers and surplus salts that come from chlorinated tap water.

Native California Vegetation Grows Best in the Autumn Weather

The weather conditions in San Diego are most propitious for a fall garden, as October generally ushers in the rainy season and cooler temperatures. If you are located in an area of wild lands on the periphery of …

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Shorter Days in November Mean Less Time in the Garden in Southern California

Fewer daylight hours in November means less time to garden. Pick one or two outdoor projects to focus on this month.

Add Last Minute Fall Color: There is no reason why your flower garden can't look beautiful in fall and winter. Buy flowering plants from the nursery and plant now. Fall annuals include pansies, violas, primrose and calendula. Perennials that bloom in fall should be considered also. They include nemesia, Russian sage, chrysanthemums, aster and oriental lily.

Cut Back On Watering: Unless we get a late blast of Santa Ana winds, water plants and trees less frequently. Newly planted varieties, however, should be routinely watered until established. Dormant trees do not need watering.

Last Time To Water Outdoor Cacti And Succulents: Water outdoor succulents before they go dormant in winter. If the plants are indoors, they'll need to be watered year round when the soil becomes dry. Give the plants a good soak once a week and let the water drain.

Plant Trees: Fall's cool nights, mild days and occasional rain are ideal conditions for tree planting. Planting now gives young trees time to establish a healthy root system before growing season in spring. Select a location for your tree before shopping. Do you want an evergreen or deciduous? Is the location near walkways? Roots can lift up sidewalks. Will the tree need to be in the shade or get plenty of sun? Amend the soil if necessary, dig a hole that's at least twice the size of the root ball and plant. Trees grow slowly the first few years so be patient.

Prevent Peach Leaf Curl: A common fungal organism in peach and nectarine orchards results in peach leaf curl. If your tree leaves become deformed, now is the time to get rid of the bug by spraying the tree with an organic lime sulfur. Wait until most of the leaves have fallen before spraying.

Mulch Plants: Add a layer of mulch around the garden. When rain comes, mulch will stop rain-producing mud from splashing onto plants and prevent runoff.

Winterize Lawns: Mow lawns very short, sow grass seed, scatter a light covering of soil amendment and water to produce a green winter lawn. Rake falling leaves from lawns as leaves could impede lawn growth. If a lawn is looking "tired," sow in seeds to cover brown spots and to introduce new growth. After seeding, scatter a light covering of soil amendment and water thoroughly. To avoid the "dead" look of winter Bermuda lawns, overseed the lawn with annual rye to cover up brown.

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