Visibility in Vernon was improved on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 as smoke from U.S. wildfires begins to dissipate in the Okanagan Valley. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Visibility in Vernon was improved on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 as smoke from U.S. wildfires begins to dissipate in the Okanagan Valley. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Smoke from U.S. wildfires is still lingering throughout the B.C. Interior. But the haze is beginning to clear up in some regions, and air quality is expected to improve over the remainder of the weekend.

For nearly a week, much of Southern B.C. was blanketed by long-range transfers of smoke from across the border. But a glance out the window Saturday morning showed improved visibility in the Okanagan.

Air quality will continue to improve throughout Saturday in the southern and central Interior and east Vancouver Island, according to a smoky skies bulletin released by the Ministry of Environment Sept. 19.

“Widespread improvement is expected for all affected regions by tomorrow although some light smoke may persist in the Kootenays and Columbia regions into Monday,” the bulletin reads.

In the past week the Okanagan has seen days with an air quality index of 10+ on its 10-point scale, indicating a “very high” health risk.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the index is at 4 in the Central Okanagan and just 3 in the North Okanagan and Kamloops. However, air in the South Okanagan and Cranbrook in the Kootenays remains in high-risk territory with an index of 8.

READ MORE: Here’s how you and your pet can stay safe from the wildfire smoke blanketing B.C.

READ MORE: Firefighter dies battling wildfire sparked by gender reveal


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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