BLUE SKIES While fires are burning elsewhere in the South Okanagan and Similkameen, the sky is clear and bright at Sunoka Provincial Park in Summerland. David Hull, executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, believes the term “Smokanagan” is an inaccurate descriptor this summer. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Summerland chamber director objects to ‘Smokanagan’ moniker

Tourism businesses struggling, even though fire season far less severe than previous two years

While some large wildfires have been burning in the region, the executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce takes issue with the term “Smokanagan” to describe the valley during the fire season.

“There is nothing at all, at this time, to indicate that we are returning to the smoky skies of the last two summers,” said David Hull. “There’s a slight haze, but it’s not like last year.”

READ ALSO: No more Smokanagan, let’s claim summer back

His comments came after one Okanagan media outlet used the word “Smokanagan” in a headline. The headline was later changed.

Hull’s objection to “Smokanagan” in the headline because of its potential effects on tourism in the region.

The summer of 2017 and the summer of 2018 were the worst B.C. wildfire seasons on record in terms of the number of fires, the amount of land burned and the costs of fighting fires.

Tourism-related businesses are still feeling the effects of those fire seasons, and those businesses which rely on tourism have been struggling this year.

“We have to rebuild our bright, sunny Okanagan reputation,” Hull said. “Tourism’s a big part of the economy.”

READ ALSO: The Smokanagan, Part One: How wildfire smoke affects children

READ ALSO: The Smokanagan, Part two: Physical health effects

READ ALSO: The Smokanagan, Part three: Mental health effects

While the skies in many parts of the Okanagan are not smoky, Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for the South Okanagan, from Summerland to Osoyoos and Keremeos.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” the air quality statement reads. “If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Recreation guide brings new programs to Penticton

Pick up a copy in the Penticton Western News this week

Okanagan Art Gallery presents Our Town exhibition

The Osoyoos gallery celebrates the town as seen through the eyes of local artists.

MP Richard Cannings to kick off campaign with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Shindig in the Garden takes place Aug. 29 at Linden Gardens in Kaleden

Two drowning incidents on Okanagan Lake serve as safety reminder

B.C. drowning fatalities down compared to August 2018

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read