Back to top

UPDATED: Smoky skies advisory remains in place for Southern BC

Smoke is beginning to filter north of the 49th parallel from many massive fires in the United States. — Screenshot photo

Smoke from local wildfire, combined with blazes south of the 49th parallel, will continue to impact air quality conditions in the West Kootenay, Boundary for the next 24 to 48 hours as Environment Canada continues its Smoky Skies Bulletin.

Environment Canada said the smoky skies advisory remains in place for southern BC.

“Wildfire smoke concentrations have continued to drop over the past 24 hours except for a few isolated areas,” Environment Canada said on its website.

“However, smoke forecast models indicate potential for intermittent long-range transport of smoke from the United States in the next day.”

Environment Canada said with falling temperatures overnight, temperature inversions in mountain valleys can increase the likelihood of smoke being trapped near the ground due to local impacts from the Talbott Creek and Woodbury Creek fires in the West Kootenay and Doctor Creek fire in the East Kootenay.

Environment Canada said during a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

“Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health,” Environment Canada said.

“People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.”

Anyone exposed to wildfire smoke should consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure.

Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm a person’s health. For more details, please consult www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.

Wildfires force issuing of Special Air Quality statement for West Kootenay, Boundary

Environment Canada has continued its Special air quality statement for most of southern BC, including West Kootenay/Boundary regions due to the long-range transport of wildfire smoke from the United States.

Environment Canada said the areas of impacted air quality levels include much of southern BC including the Island, coastal mainland, the Okanagan, as well as the Kootenays and Boundary.

Localized impacts in the East and West Kootenays are expected from the 7,937 hectare Doctor Creek and 539 hectare Talbott Creek wildfires as well.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” Environment Canada said.

“Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment, but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.”

Environment Canada said people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

Environment Canada said localized impacts in the East and West Kootenays are expected from the Doctor Creek fire near Canal Flats in the East Kootenay and Talbott Creek wildfire in the Slocan Valley west of Nelson.

Wildfires south of the border, including one located about 12 kilometres southeast of Midway, has impacted driving on Highway 3 along the BC/Washington State border in Grand Forks and Midway.

South of Spokane, Wash., the small town of Malden has been devastated by a fast-moving fire with reports 80 per cent of the farming community's buildings were lost in the blaze.

The town lost its fire station, post office, City Hall, library and many homes.

The public is urged to consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. For more details, please consult www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html