Smoky Skies Bulletin expanded in Southern Interior

The East Kootenay area was removed from a Smoky Skies Bulletin issued by the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health last Friday, but by Monday was again included in the alert.

There was visible smoke in the air in the Kimberley and Cranbrook area on Monday, which prompted the area to be returned to the bulletin. Most of the smoke is from the larger fires in the Thompson and Cariboo.

A smoky Skies Bulletin is issued when smoke concentrations in an area have, or may, reach levels that are of concern for human health.

The decisions are based on satellite information, smoke transport models, photographs of visual air quality, first hand observations from the area, in addition to concentrations of fine particulate matter recorded at local air quality stations.

Smoke concentrations can vary significantly over short distances and periods of time, as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.

During fire season, a bluish white haze in the air and the smell of smoke should indicate to those who are sensitive to smoke that they should monitor their conditions and take steps to reduce exposure to smoke.

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