LETTERS: Poor air quality

Please don’t let the weather office or anyone else BS you about a “stagnant air mass” causing poor air quality.

Please don’t let the weather office or anyone else BS you about a “stagnant air mass” causing poor air quality by trapping smoke in valley.

The heavy pollution blanketing the Okanagan and much of southern BC all weekend was totally avoidable and, in fact, was predicted when the fires were lit Thursday, the last day we had any blue sky.  The pollution is not from car exhaust or fireplaces or orchard burning or anything else, it’s all from the slash fires.

The smoke has drifted into Washington state prompting the issuance of air quality alerts (slash smoke can cause cancer as well as respiratory distress), but the health risks here are only rated “moderate” by the B.C. government.  Regulations prohibit burning when venting is poor, and it was very poor Thursday.  So the question is whether the companies are defying the regulations, or the government has decided not to enforce them.

Jill Spencer

Osoyoos