The mountain ranges are virtually invisible while distant shops and buildings are clouded over Sunday

The mountain ranges are virtually invisible while distant shops and buildings are clouded over Sunday

SmOkanagan gets crafty

The grey haze blanketing the North Okanagan means tourists are getting creative

The grey haze blanketing the North Okanagan means tourists are getting creative.

The thick smoke that moved into the region from U.S. wildfires Sunday has resulted in Vernon Visitor Centre staff handing out lists of indoor activities, something that’s only done when it’s raining.

“We are working hard to put together lists that are appropriate,” said Theresa Durning Harker, with the centre.

“We want people to enjoy their experience here.”

Many of the visitors are disappointed because they anticipated sunny skies, while others are concerned about the smoke’s impact on health.

“We are hearing more from seniors and people with young families. It’s hard on people,” said Durning Harker.

On Saturday afternoon, wind currents began pushing smoke from large wildfires in Washington State into the Interior.

A smoky skies advisory was issued because of high concentrations of fine particulates and poor air quality.

And there could be increased smoke density today as a light southeast wind develops.

However, a broad upper trough this weekend means the smoke will ultimately break up.

“Once that moves in, there will be cooler temperatures and showers here and there,” said Lisa Coldwells, with Environment Canada.

While the smoke remains, residents are urged to void strenuous outdoor activities.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways.

“Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease,” said Tarek Ayache, a Ministry of Environment air quality meteorologist.