Expanded smoky skies bulletin issued for Southern Interior

Smoky skies bulletin grows

An expanded smoky skies bulletin has been issued for much of the Southern Interior, including the Thompson-Okanagan region.

After the bulletin was issued Wednesday for the South Okanagan and Kootenay areas, the province has expanded the warning to a far larger region, which includes all of the southeastern section of the province.

“The Southern Interior continues to be impacted by widespread smoke. Thunderstorms and convection today may clear the smoke, but may also lead to new fire activity,” the bulletin states.

The bulletin covers the entire Okanagan, in addition to the Kootenays, Shuswap, Thompson, Bounday, Nicola, and Peace River regions.

Smoke is expected to impact the region for the next 24 to 48 hours.

“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,” the bulletin states.

Unstable weather conditions across the Interior this week are expected to keep the smoke from nearby wildfires relatively light in the Okanagan, but a ridge of high pressure is forecast to return to B.C. next week. High-pressure ridges can trap smoke in the Valley bottom.

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