Local smoke has many sources

Castlegar being bathed in smoke from all directions

View above Castlegar on July 18.

Which ever way the wind blows it’s bringing smoke with it.

Major wildfires, as of Friday morning, were burning to the north, east, south and west of Castlegar, adding up to smoke-shrouded vistas across the area.

Jordan Turner of the Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar says sizable blazes near Tumbler Ridge in the north, the area near Banff National Park to the east, Apex Mountain near Penticton and assorted wildfires in Washington State may each be adding to the visibility detriment above and around us.

As far as related health advisories are concerned, Karl Hardt of Interior Health reported Friday morning that although Creston and the Boundary region were under such warnings, none had yet been issued for Castlegar.

“Smoky skies can be harmful to a person’s health,” Doctor Lizette Elumir is quoted from an audio clip supplied by Hardt. “Exposure to smoke is of particular concern for infants, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.” Doctor Elumir recommends that people can reduce their risk of harm by “…using common sense regarding outdoor physical activity. If your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity or go inside.”

As for campfires, while they have been banned in other areas, no such ban had been issued for the Castlegar area as of Friday although many kinds of “open” fires have been prohibited since July 2.

“We monitor the situation daily,” said Turner. “It (campfire ban) is on the table.”

Turner concluded by inviting people to continually check back with the website www.bcwildfire.ca before going out camping.

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