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Special Air Quality Statement issued for West Kootenay

The impact of wildfires should be seen during the next 24-48 hours. — Screenshot photo

Environment Canada has issued a Special Air Quality Statement for regions in southeastern BC, including the West Kootenay cities of Nelson, Castlegar and Trail as the impact of wildfires will be seen during the next 24-48 hours.

The regions of BC include:

  • East Columbia including Golden.
  • Elk Valley including Elko, Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford.
  • South Okanagan including Penticton, Summerland, Naramata, Keremeos, Oliver and Osoyoos.
  • West Kootenay including Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, Rossland.

"Widespread wildfire activity across the Southern Interior continues to impact the air quality in localized areas, as smoke can get trapped in valleys when the daytime heating and atmospheric mixing does not allow for the smoke to disperse into the upper atmosphere," said Environment Canada.

"During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour."

Environment Canada said wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

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.

If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. Fore more details, please consult:
www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html

For more information on current air quality, visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.