Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System is showing that local smoke is coming from fires in Washington, in forecast modeling from Sept. 8, 2020 (Blue Sky Canada)

Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System is showing that local smoke is coming from fires in Washington, in forecast modeling from Sept. 8, 2020 (Blue Sky Canada)

Smoky Skies Alert issued for southern B.C. due to fires in Washington

Forecasting model illustrates drifting smoke hundreds of miles from fires

A forecast modeling system shows just how much smoke is drifting from fires in Washington and Idaho over southern B.C.

The Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System tracks and forecasts smoke as it drifts through air sheds, sparking enough of a concern for the government to release a Smokey Skies Bulletin on Sept. 8.

The regions most affected by the “long range transport” of the smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours will be Vancouver Island, the coastal mainland, Okanagan, Kootenays, and the Boundary region. The map in the bulletin also includes the Fraser Valley.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” the bulletin states. “Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

They advise people with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID19, as well as older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.

READ MORE: “We’ll have to see”: Painted Rock Winery’s future uncertain as Okanagan wildfire rages

Tips they offer include:

• Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you feel unwell.

• Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.

• If you have asthma or other chronic illness, carry any rescue (fast-acting) medications with you at all times and activate your personal care plan that has been designed with your family physician.

• Make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.

• Monitor your symptoms.

• If you are unsure whether you need medical care, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

• If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, or a severe cough, contact your health care provider, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Air Quality is changing to moderate or high on the AQHI scale, as well.

The highest is in the Central and South Okanagan, at 10+, while areas with High AQHI today (Sept. 8) include Duncan, some areas of Metro Vancouver, and the North Okanagan.

READ MORE: Heat warnings posted for parts of B.C. as temperature records have tumbled


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

air qualityWeatherWildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Following a cease work order from the District of Highlands in October, the BC Supreme Court ruled Jan. 20. that bylaws won’t apply to O.K. Industries’ work until its quarrying activity is complete. (Courtesy of District of Highlands)
BC Supreme Court rules Highlands quarry work can continue

District bylaws won’t apply until quarrying activities are complete

A worker covers up racist graffiti along the West Shore Parkway. (Courtesy of Anna Young)
RCMP investigating racist graffiti spotted off West Shore Parkway

Hateful vandalism is rare, says Langford bylaw enforcement

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read