UPDATED 1pm – Smoky skies advisory for area; smoke expected to remain until shift in weather

Smoke is persisting in the valleys Sunday morning. The smoke is the result of numerous fires in the region

Smoke is very thick in all of Grand Forks from nearby fire.

Smoke is very thick in all of Grand Forks from nearby fire.

Alerts for: Boundary


12:15 PM PDT Sunday 23 August 2015Special air quality statement in effect for:

  • Boundary

Smoky skies advisory over the enitre Okanagan Valley, north and South Thompson, Nicola, Shuswap and southern areas of the Boundary and Kootenay regions.Air quality advisory over the Central and Eastern Fraser Valley.

The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority, has issued a smoky skies advisory for much of the Southern Interior and Kootenay regions. Since last night. Southerly winds have been widely spreading heavy plumes of smoke northwards from the large wildfires burning in Washington state, resulting in high concentrations of fine particulates and poor air quality. While this episode is expected to persist until a major shift in wind patterns and weather conditions, smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.


According to website AQICN, Grand Forks Air Quality rating is at 468. The second highest in the northwest, trailing only Omak, which is at 658. In comparison, Castlegar is at 123, while Creston is 57.























Press release from Kamloops Fire Centre regarding smoke in the interior:

The majority of the thick smoke blanketing many areas of southern B.C., is drifting northward from large wildfires in the United States.

The smoke arrived in British Columbia yesterday evening due to strong southerly winds. A temperature inversion trapped the smoke in the valley bottoms which has resulted in poor visibility and air quality issues.

Detecting new fires in this situation can be challenging. If you spot open flame from a new wildfire or a distinct column of smoke, please report it to *5555 or 1-800-663-5555 as soon as possible.

The most active fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre is the 3,100-hectare Testalinden Creek wildfire south of Oliver. Firefighters are reassessing tactics today because air operations could be restricted due to reduced visibility. Crews continue to work all hours day and night to increase containment on this wildfire. The majority of the smoke in the local area is drifting up from across the U.S./Canada border.

Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.

The wildfire smoke is expected to remain for the next few days.


To see the current smoke forecast for western Canada, visit http://firesmoke.ca/


For the latest information about air quality, check http://www.bcairquality.ca/


For more information about forest fires and your health, visit Interior Health’s website:https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/EmergencyPreparedness/Pages/Forest-Fires.aspx


For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity or burning restrictions visit: www.bcwildfire.ca


You can follow the latest wildfire news:


– On Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo


– On Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo



Inciweb (US wildfire information site) is reporting:


Current Situation: Smoke is persisting in the valleys Sunday morning. The smoke is the result of numerous fires in the region. Fire activity continued across the region yesterday and fire officials are working together to prioritize incident personnel and manage numerous incidents. An Area Command Team is in place to provide additional leadership and support to Kettle Complex, North Star fire, Stevens County Complex, and Kaniksu Complex. Support teams from the Washington National Guard are assisting fire managers to ensure safety of the public and firefighters on the Kettle Complex. There have been no injuries. There are firefighters from 24 states and one Canadian province on this incident.

Stickpin Fire – Stickpin Fire is at 47,544 acres and is burning on the Kettle Crest between Curlew and Orient. The fire is 15% contained. Firelines constructed along the western edge are holding. Crews continue to strengthen the lines. The fire was also active on the southwestern perimeter; dozer lines are being constructed but are indirect (meaning there is unburned fuel between the line and the fire edge). Three helicopters are supporting firefighting efforts if conditions allow. Public and firefighter safety is a significant concern, and incident management personnel are looking at all options for suppression. Fire crews from across the state are in place to assist Ferry County Fire 14 and Ferry County District 3/Stevens 8 with structure protection under the State Mobilization Act. These resources are dedicated to structure protection and free up additional firefighters for wildland fireline construction.

Two hand crews, dozers, and management personnel arrived from British Columbia, Canada today to work in partnership with existing resources fire suppression efforts on the northern perimeter. The fire has burned into the Togo Fire (2003) burn area and crews are working to construct line to keep the fire from progressing towards Grand Forks and Christina Lake British Columbia.


Grand Forks Gazette