Air quality looks good for long weekend

Despite a fire burning in the Southern Interior , skies should be mostly clear

Even with the Diamond Creek fire burning across the border into Southern B.C., the air quality health index is forecast to remain in the low to moderate risk levels now through Sunday.

Saturday begins with a Level 2, low risk, rating in the South, Central and North Okanagan. In the South and Central regions, that’s expected to climb to Level 4, moderate risk, as Saturday progresses before dropping back down to Level 2 by Sunday morning. The high for the North Okanagan is Level 3, still considered to be low risk.

Smoke forecasts from FireSmoke.ca show the Okanagan being only lightly affected by smoke through Saturday and Sunday, with peak coverage coming in the late evening both days.

A map showing the restriction area in the South Okanagan for the Diamond Creek fire.
The Diamond Creek Fire was discovered in later July 23 in the Paysayten Wilderness of Washington state, about 10 kilometres south of the Canada/U.S. border.

The fire is still uncontained, and recent hot and dry conditions increased fire activity, with the fire jumping the border into Canada. In just a few days, the fire has grown to over 2,000 hectares in size on Canadian land, according to B.C. Wildfire Service estimates.

Related: U.S. Forestry, B.C. Wildfire disagree on Diamond Creek fire size

A large area around Cathedral Park, which has already been evacuated, has been placed under a provincial area restriction.

Under the restriction order, people must not remain in or enter the Diamond Creek Wildfire restricted area without written authorization of an official unless they are travelling to or from their principal residence that is not under an evacuation order; accessing a secondary residence or recreational property or travelling in an official capacity.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

Related: Hot and dry long weekend concerns BC Wildfire crews