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Fire official says haze from U.S. blazes now hanging over areas of southern B.C.


The haze is hanging over communities in southern British Columbia
The haze is hanging over communities in southern British Columbia

The Canadian Press

July 7, 2012 — A fire information officer says haze from wildfires in the United States has made its way north and is now hanging over communities in southern British Columbia.

Photo courtesy of viewer Nicole Fast, shot July 7 - smoke lingering over Kamloops, BC; Looking over the valley from Juniper Ridge water tower.
Photo courtesy of viewer Nicole Fast, shot July 7 - smoke lingering over Kamloops, BC; Looking over the valley from Juniper Ridge water tower.

The U.S. National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, has reported that dozens of fires were burning earlier this week in nine western states, destroying 600 homes and killing six people.

B.C. fire information officer Fionna Tollovsen says the province's Wildfire Management Branch has been receiving reports of haze from Kamloops, Merritt, Lillooet, Vancouver Island and even the Cariboo region.

She says a plane flew over areas between Williams Lake, Gold Bridge and Lillooet last night to ensure no wildfires were burning.

Tollovsen says officials then looked at satellite imagery and confirmed the source of the smoke.

Provincial air-quality meteorologist Ralph Adams says smoke has been building up around Kamloops and concentrations will vary depending on winds and temperatures.

The Ministry of Environment has issued a Special Air Quality statement for the City of Kamloops and surrounding regions because of the forest fire smoke that is affecting the area. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change. 

Residents are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activity. If anyone experiences difficulty breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation they are advised to contact their healthcare provider immediately. 

Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease. Everyone is advised to take necessary precautions and to monitor conditions regularly.


With files from (CHNL/CFJC)

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