UPDATED: Smoky skies advisory continues; Christina Lake, Grand Forks deals with Evacuation Alert

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 25th, 2015

It looks like another day of the smoky skies advisory for the Kootenay/Boundary regions of the province as Environment Canada, in conjuction with Interior Health Authority, to continues the warning.

The advisory is due to smoke blowing north across the border from wildfires in Washington State.

However, according to the Western Canada Smoke Forecast, the Kootenay/Boundary is not the hardest hit.

The East Kootenay and Southern Alberta, including Calgary, should see more smoke.

An air quality official says the smoke has made the quality of air in the city worse than in Beijing and New Delhi.

Wednesday, air quality in Calgary is listed at 11 on the Government of Alberta’s Air Quality Health Index, which is considered very high risk in terms of severity.

The smoke is nothing, however, compared to the criticial state the Boundary region around Grand Forks and Christina Lake are in.

Wednesday, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary issued a Evacuation Alert for both places.

The alert was issued due to high winds expected to impact the Stickpin wildfire south of the border.

“These weather conditions may result in extreme fire behaviour,” said the RDKB statement. 

“If these extreme fire behaviour conditions occur, firefighters may be unable to continue with suppression activities.”

The wildfire is five kilometers south of the U.S/Canada border.

This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Smoky skies advisory continues for Kootenay/Boundary regions

It appears the smoke is in the sky is going to hang around until the end of the week.

Winds continue to push smoke from wildfires in Washington State over the Southern Interior and into Alberta.

Environment Canada is calling for the trend to continue at least through Thursday with the possibility of rain beginning Friday and into the weekend.

Check out the Smoke Forecast website.

The smoky condition has forced Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, to continue its smoky skies advisory for the Southern Interior and Kootenay regions.

This advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Smoky skies advisory continues for West Kootenay, Boundary areas

Smoke from fires south of the border has forced Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, to issue a smoky skies advisory for the Southern Interior and Kootenay regions.

The advisory covers Boundary, Kootenay, Okanagan Valley, north and South Thompson, Similkameen, Fraser Canyon, Nicola and Shuswap areas.

“Southerly winds have continued to spread further north heavy plumes of smoke from the large wildfires burning in Washington State, resulting in high concentrations of fine particulates and poor air quality,” said the Environment Canada website.

“While this episode is expected to persist until a major shift in wind patterns and weather conditions, smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.”

The smoky conditions are expected to continue into Wednesday and through most of the week.

Some recommendations to help reduce some intake are:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity – if your breathing becomes  difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.
  • If any symptoms are noted, affected individuals should  take steps to reduce their exposure to smoke and if necessary see their physician.
  • People with symptoms  should go to their health care provider, walk in clinic or emergency department depending on severity of symptoms.
  • Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.

For up to date air quality information, go to the BC Air Quality website.

A major fire south of the 49th parallel continues to be the Stickpin wildfire burning in northern Ferry County, Washington, five kilometres south of the Canada-United States border.

The fire is now estimated at 19,240 hectares.

In a media release the BC Wildfire Service said its working closely with fire agency representatives in the United States to coordinate wildfire response for this incident. 

The BC Wildfire Service has begun work on Branch 3 of the Stickpin wildfire (Also known as “The Canadian Branch”), which is the northeast portion the fire. Current objectives include developing situational awareness, identifying anchor points, and establishing control lines to keep this incident from reaching Canada.

“Growth to the northeast has been minimal over the last few days due to lower temperatures and winds, and the northern part of the fire burning into an area with fewer fuels as a result of the 2003 Togo wildfire.”

Due to heavy smoke in the area, the BC Wildfire service is currently unable to support crews on the ground with airtankers or helicopter buckets.

The BC Wildfire Service would also like to acknowledge the support from Border Services in both countries in expediting resources to this incident.

The Southeast Fire Centre thanks the public for its ongoing support in reporting wildfires. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: GeneralHealth

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