British Columbia Wildfire Smoke Creates Thick Haze in Okanagan

Hannah Rogers
August 26, 2018

In its latest update, NWS said: "The coastal areas and Southwest Washington should wake up to clean air tomorrow morning, and the rest of Western Washington will follow shortly behind".

Elderly people may be more affected by smoke because lung function decreases with age, she said.

It's been a tough summer in terms of air quality and it's even tougher to understand what it takes to clear out the haze.

The following counties are under an air quality advisory: Bonneville, Butte, Jefferson, Madison, Clark, Fremont, Teton, Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Power and Oneida.

At times Wednesday night, Bellingham's air worsened to the "hazardous" range, the worst category, and visibility was less than 2 miles.

The deteriorating air quality has prompted Environment Canada to issue yet another advisory. "It's the best protection you can do right now", said Dr. Henry.

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"Even though it may smell smoky and it may not be, stay inside where the air is cleaner". If you must drive, keep the windows closed.

In fact, the dismal air quality is so bad it is like smoking seven cigarettes a day, according to a research scale created by Berkeley Earth.

The DEQ rates air quality based on the amount of particulate matter (PM) in the air, which is often caused by smoke from wildfires.

"We have serious challenges for public health and we need to adapt our policy making, working with all levels of government to make sure that as we go forward we're better prepared", said Horgan, flanked by federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Mayor Lyn Hall and Grand Chief Ed John of the First Nations Summit. So we have seen comparisons to cities like Beijing and Delhi.

There are 564 wildfires burning across B.C., including 56 classified as significant due to their size or proximity to communities or structures, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

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