A Smoky Skies Advisory has been issued due to wildfire smoke.

Smoky skies advisory issued for Kootenay and Boundary regions

A Smoky Skies Advisory has been issued in Castlegar, Creston and Grand Forks due to high levels of smoke from forest fires.

The Ministry of Environment and Interior Health Authority have issued a Smoky Skies Advisory for Kootenay and Boundary regions and the southern areas of the Okanagan, spanning the communities of: Castlegar, Creston, Grand Forks, Oliver, and Osoyoos.

Tarek Ayache, air quality meteorologist for the Ministry of Environment, said this does not include Nelson.

“It is in the clear,”  he said, as far as the advisory is concerned.

While Ayache said Nelson no longer has an air quality monitoring station like Castlegar does, he said the Ministry is keeping a “close eye” on Nelson. He said the smoke is not as bad in Nelson as the more southern communities, which he attributed to proximity and topography. He did offer a gleam of hope saying that northerly winds are forecast, which could help push smoke southward.

The advisory states:”These areas are affected by local and transboundary smoke from forest fires burning in the region and south of the border. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.

Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways.

Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.”

This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

For more details and real time air quality information in Castlegar, Creston,Grand Forks and other communities in B.C. is available at bcairquality.ca.

Interior Health’s website contains helpful information and other resources related to forest fire smoke exposure / air quality, as well as food safety when the power is out and ensuring your drinking water is safe.