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Wildfire smoke advisory in effect as fires burn on both sides of the border
With fires burning on both sides of the border, a wildfire smoke advisory is in effect for large areas of the B.C. Interior, including Osoyoos.
The B.C. Ministry of the Environment in collaboration with Interior Health issued the advisory on Aug. 6 and it remains in effect.
In addition to Osoyoos, other areas affected include the Okanagan, Similkameen, Boundary, Thompson, Fraser Canyon, Nicola and Shuswap areas.
“Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change,” the Environment Ministry and Interior Health say in a news release.
They advised avoiding strenuous outdoor activities.
“If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways,” the release said. “Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and lung or heart disease.”
Major fires continue to burn in Washington State including the Carlton Complex, a fire that started July 14 and has not yet been entirely contained. That fire in the Okanogan-Omak-Twisp area covered more than 100,000 hectares at its peak and destroyed more than 300 homes.
Meanwhile, a much smaller fire broke out on Thursday, Aug. 7 at Drought Hill between Peachland and West Kelowna north of the Hwy. 97C Okanagan Connector.
That fire was estimated at 40 hectares. By the weekend it was 100 per cent contained, with crews continuing mop-up and patrol.
The Wildfire Management Branch’s Kamloops Fire Centre said crews included 85 firefighters, three helicopters and two pieces of heavy equipment at the scene.
The fire led to an evacuation order affecting one home in West Kelowna, but has since been changed to an alert.
Several older fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre area are still burning, but are no longer considered “fires of note” as they have been contained.
There are also at least five large fires of note burning to the north in the Prince George Fire Centre area.