An air quality advisory remains in place across the Okanagan

Smoke blankets region

Madison Erhardt

UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.

Interior Health has issued another smokey skies bulletin across the region.

"The Regions of BC are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours," IH wrote.

"Conditions have improved in many areas however variable smoke conditions continue to be expected from local wildfires with the strongest impacts expected in the south-east region of BC."

Wednesday's air quality index for the Central Okanagan currently sits at a two meaning low.

ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

Residents across the Okanagan stepped outside Monday night to find the sky full of smoke and ash from growing wildfires burning nearby.

Air Quality Meteorologist Trina Orchard says the smoke is coming from upstream.

“It's from whatever is upwind of your location. There is a lot of fires burning right now and some of them are local. We have got fires spread out all over the Kamloops Fire Centre. We've got fires in the southeast. We have got fires in Washington. We have fires in Oregon burning as well which don’t seem to be impacting the Kamloops Fire Centre much but some of the smoke seems to be making its way up the southeast side. So in short everywhere.”

Falling ash also depends on how the wind is moving.

“If you are close to a fire directly downstream of a fast moving flow of smoke you can potentially see some ash, but that is highly dependent on local fire conditions.”

Orchard says reaction to the smoke differs from person to person.

“Some people might notice itchy eyes, or a runny nose, or scratchy throat whereas people with preexisting conditions like asthma might notice much more severe effects.”

According to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, The change in colour of the sky also has to do with the concentration from the smoke.

“The higher the amount of concentration of smoke or particulate above you, the more likely you are going to see scattering and you are going to see that blue light become filtered. You are going to see those orange and yellow conditions.”

The air quality advisory is expected to remain across the Okanagan for the next 48-hours.

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