Okanagan air quality continues to suffer

The air still poses a high health risk for those who have health problems, as well as the elderly and infants.

It’s another smoky day in the valley.

An ashy haze from wildfires across B.C. continues to linger and it’s unclear as of yet when it will move on.

Currently the Air Quality Health Index ratings from Lumby to Peachland and onward through the South Okanagan are pegged at seven, which means spending time outside offers a high health risk for babies, the elderly and those who have health complications. Those of average health are reccomended to not exert themselves.

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While stagnant conditions are nothing to cheer about, it’s better than what Environment Canada indicates Kamloops is facing. The AQHI rating there is currently at eight, and headed toward a nine.

Weather forecasts suggest the rain will begin Saturday on the coast, with scattered showers in areas of the Cariboo and southern Interior through to Sunday, when weather is expected to remain at cooler temperatures.

Whether it will have any affect on fires remains to be seen.

Until then, back country areas remained off-limits to the public and off-roading bans also remain in effect.

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.

For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.

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