IN PHOTOS: Doomsday skies over South Okanagan due to forest fire smoke, ash | iINFOnews

Image Credit: SUBMIT / Odessa Kiefiuk

July 20, 2021 – 11:00 a.m.

Many areas of British Columbia are affected by smoke from the wildfires and last night residents of the South Okanagan turned their cameras to the smoky skies.

A smoky sky bulletin is in effect for the Okanagan and last night, July 19, a wildfire just south of the U.S. border saw substantial growth with its plume of smoke.

Smoke from that blaze blew north across the Okanagan, and other local fires contributed to deteriorating air quality, said Lisa Erven, meteorologist at Environment Canada.

“We have a fairly similar wind pattern for today, with more southerly winds expected, so we have kept the air quality forecast for the Okanagan at a moderate (level),” he said. she said, adding that the forecast will likely stay the same for today, July 20 and tomorrow.

There is currently a moderate risk in the Okanagan with a rating of five. The Air Quality Health Index assesses quality on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 having a high risk of impact on the general public.

But the smoke can be in different concentrations depending on the altitude.

For Thursday, the wind direction will likely change to more westerly, which would help redirect the plume of smoke from the U.S. fire away from the Okanagan, but smoke from other fires in British Columbia could persist, Erven said.

“There are so many fires locally here in British Columbia and in all directions from the Okanagan that it’s a really tough situation,” she said.

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