Air quality improves in Kamloops

By James Peters
July 12, 2017 - 12:32pm Updated: July 12, 2017 - 1:37pm

Kamloops residents have been given a reprieve from the heavy smoke that has blanketed the valley for the past two days.

The sky is much clearer around the city today, and Environment Canada agrees.

AIR QUALITY: Click here for the latest numbers

The forecasting agency's Air Quality Health Index dropped into the "Low Risk" category at about 5:00 a.m., and should remain there for the rest of the day.

Because of the better air quality, Canada Post carriers are back to work today.

Carriers did not deliver any mail yesterday out of concern for health impacts caused by the thick smoke.

Wildfires smoke blankets much of British Columbia, part of Alberta

VANCOUVER — Wildfires in British Columbia’s Interior mean only coastal and extreme northern and northeastern corners of the province have escaped a pall of smoke blanketing regions that include the United States border.

The Environment Ministry, in collaboration with local health authorities, has issued a smoky skies bulletin as 198 wildfires chew through just under 400 square kilometres of trees, bush and grasslands.

The bulletin is issued when smoke concentrations in an area could or have reached levels that raise health concerns although the ministry says the amount of smoke can vary dramatically over short periods and over small distances.

A small improvement in wildfire conditions early Wednesday is reflected in the Air Quality Health Index, with most regions ranked at a low to moderate health risk.

The Cariboo city of Williams Lake, which is near the centre of several huge fires, is ranked at 16 on a 10-point scale, meaning the air quality poses a very high health risk, especially for people with heart or lung conditions.

Poor air quality has also prompted Alberta Health Services to issue a precautionary advisory for the Edmonton region as smoke-tainted air drifts eastward, and authorities in B.C. and Alberta say the smoky conditions won’t improve for some time.  

The Canadian Press

Cache Creek residents want to go back home with fire moving north