Sep 21, 2012 / 1:58 pm
BC's Wildfire Management Branch says several large forest fires in northern BC and in Washington State are to blame for the smokey haze lingering in the Okanagan Valley.
A stable air mass in the province is not allowing the smoke from a 6,000-hectare forest fire near Entiako Lake west of Prince George as well as multiple forest fires in BC and south of the border to dissipate, according to the Kamloops Fire Centre.
“There's really little movement,” said Michaela Swan, fire information officer, of the stagnant air mass.
Currently, there are 53 active forest fires burning in the province, 13 of which are over 1,000 hectares in size.
The fire danger rating for most of the province remained at moderate to high as of 1 p.m. Thursday, with some areas in the Okangan rated as extreme.
The hot and dry weather is expected to continue into next week.
The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for Washignton State along its western strip from Bellingham to beyond Olympia. East of that region is currently under an air quality alert.
Open fire prohibitions in the Kamloops Fire Centre include: the burning of any material larger than a half- metre high by a half-metre wide, the burning of stubble or grass, and the use of fireworks or burning barrels of any size or description.
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