Colorado fires create hazy skies in BC
Jul 7, 2012 / 12:01 pm
It almost seems like a cruel joke for the rain weary residents of the Okanagan and BC interior.
As the weekend arrived with a long awaited forecast calling for sunny skies and hot temperatures, a forest fire south of the border is sending smoke pouring into the valley.
"The smoke all through the BC Interior and the Okanagan valley is from wildfires in the states, specifically the wildfires in Colorado," says Fire Information Officer Kayla Pepper.
"An inversion has actually trapped the smoke in the valley and they're expecting it to stay for about a week."
So far, air quality hasn't dropped dramatically in the Okanagan. Environment Canada says the Sunday morning air quality index is two on a scale of 10.
By Sunday afternoon, the index is forecast to hit 5 or moderate and remain there through Sunday night.
The smoke isn't confined to just the valley, as the Kamloops Fire Centre has been receiving calls from throughout the interior.
"We had a number of public phone reports come in from our Lillooet Fire Zone, Merritt Fire Zone, even around the Monashees we had reports coming in, and it was all because of people thinking it was a fire. The Provincial Centre sent up a 'bird dog' to do a reconnaissance flight and there were no plumes of smoke found anywhere, just haze trapped in the valley," says Pepper.
There are currently no active forest fires burning within the Kamloops Fire District, but Pepper says crews are on alert now that the hot dry weather has finally arrived in the area.
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