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Explainer: What’s in wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Image by Patrick Perkins via Unsplash

By Luke  Montrose, for The Conversation

If I dare to give the coronavirus credit for anything, I would say it has made people more conscious of the air they breathe.

A friend texted me recently after going for a jog in the foothills near Boise, Idaho, writing: “My lungs are burning … explain what’s happening!!!”

UPDATED: Environment Canada expects improvements to air quality due to weather change

Most of BC, including Nelson, can expect smoke blocking out the sun for at least the next few days. — The Nelson Daily photo

Environment Canada said Regions of BC highlighted on the map below, including the West Kootenay, Boundary, are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 to 72 hours.

Environment Canada said smoke impacts will continue but improve across southern regions of the province today.

Environment Canada said by late Wednesday-early Thursday, smoke from the wildfires in the United States is expected to return to the southern third of the province.

Smoke hampers BC Wildfire aviation resources at Talbott Creek wildfire

BC Wildfire Service said hot, dry weather and low humidity have caused an increase in fire behaviour over the past few days. — BC Wildfire Service Twitter

Thick layers of smoke blanketing the region is hampering BC Wildfire crews fighting the Talbott Creek fire near Winlaw in the Slocan Valley.

BC Wildfire Service said Saturday afternoon (September 12), a thick layer of smoke started to blanket the fire area and as a result of poor visibility, aviation resources were unable to fly as late into the day as they have on previous days.

Police asking for public assistance in locating missing Nelson resident

Cory Westcott of Nelson has been missing since Tuesday, September 1, 2020. — Submitted photo

Nelson Police Department is asking the public for assistance in the search for Nelson resident Cory Westcott, who has not been heard from since the morning of September 1, 2020 (Tuesday).

In a media release Friday, Nelson Police said Westcott 5’10” and weighs approximately 200 pounds with shave brown hair and brown eyes. He also has numerous tattoos.

Nelson Police said Westcott was last seen driving a grey 2007 Toyota Tundra crew cab pickup truck with BC plate RB325G. 

RDCK adopts masks, face coverings policy for all indoor rec facilities common areas

Face coverings will be required in all RDCK recreation facilities beginning Monday, September 14, 2020.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is stepping up its response to COVID-19 pandemic by requiring non-medical masks or face coverings when entering and moving through all common areas of indoor recreation facilities, except when exercising or performing physical activity.

The RDCK made the announcement Friday. The face mask requirement begins Monday, September 14, 2020.

“We are looking forward to inviting users back into our facilities to take part in more programming and arena sports,” Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services.

Possible COVID-19 exposure at Hotel Zed in Kelowna

Interior Health said party is reported to have taken place between midnight and 3:30 a.m. on September 7.

The Interior Health Authority is advising the public of another possible COVID-19 outbreak in Kelowna.

In a media release Friday, Interior Health said it is advising several individuals who attended a private party at Hotel Zed in the early hours of September 7 that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Interior Health said a number of people gathered in a common area and/or balcony of the hotel at 1627 Abbott St., Kelowna, and may have been exposed to COVID-19.

RDCK schedules re-opening of Salmo Fitness Centre for Sept. 21

People of Salmo must pre-register for a dedicated time slot to come into the facility to workout.

In a media release Friday, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Community Services announced the targetted re-opening of the indoor weight room and fitness centre at the Salmo and District Community Complex on Monday, September 21st

The RDCK said this announcement is strictly focused on access to the weight room and fitness centre, while the rest of the  facility will remain closed.

The RDCK said the gymnasium is not available for use through Salmo recreation services at this time.

UPDATED: Smoky skies advisory remains in place for Southern BC

Smoke is beginning to filter north of the 49th parallel from many massive fires in the United States. — Screenshot photo

Smoke from local wildfire, combined with blazes south of the 49th parallel, will continue to impact air quality conditions in the West Kootenay, Boundary for the next 24 to 48 hours as Environment Canada continues its Smoky Skies Bulletin.

Environment Canada said the smoky skies advisory remains in place for southern BC.

“Wildfire smoke concentrations have continued to drop over the past 24 hours except for a few isolated areas,” Environment Canada said on its website.

Vandals destroy public Electric Vehicle charger in Grand Forks

City staff removed the damaged charger from the street Tuesday morning. — City of Grand Forks Facebook page

The City of Grand Forks said on its Facebook page Tuesday that the second and last functioning public Electric Vehicle charger was vandalized and destroyed Monday night.

The result has forced city staff to remove the charger from the street Tuesday morning.

“Tourists and residents will no longer be able to charge at a public location,” the City Facebook post said.

“Vandalism also occurred to the public library’s outside electrical outlets.”