If you were out today, you probably tasted the smoke in the air. The Washington State wildfires have caused massive amounts of heavy smoke to come across the border.
READ MORE: Smoke brings B.C. air quality advisories
“You expect a certain amount of [smoke] but it’s quite shocking really,” says Osoyoos resident Jennifer Farnell.
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The haze is covering valley views for locals and tourists.
“It was beautiful [on Saturday] but then it just rolled in and it got pretty bad [Saturday] night,” says Chris Wilson, a Vancouver resident visiting the Okanagan this weekend.
For some people, like Farnell, the smoke is also hard on the body.
“It feels like you’re getting a cold, kind of a sore throat,” she says.
However, that didn’t stop Farnell from going out for a walk with her dog in Oliver today. It also didn’t stop dozens of players from taking part in a baseball camp in Oliver.
“My boys have been at the baseball camp for about a week or so and it’s been like campfire atmosphere the whole time so our clothes are a bit smoky and our hair is a bit smokey,” says Kerri Chard, a Powell River resident who is visiting in Oliver.
Saturday morning, Interior Health issued a Smoky Skies advisory for the Okanagan Valley, leaving many wondering where the haze came from in the first place.
But Fire Information Officer Heather Rice confirms that the smoke is a result of fires in Washington State.
READ MORE: Hazy skies in parts of B.C. as smoke drifts across border from Washington State wildfires
Rice says on Saturday, southerly winds picked up smoke from the Stickpin fire, which is estimated to be 19,240 hectares.
The smoke in the valley is affecting the wildfire fight near Oliver, as helicopters helping to battle blazes were grounded Sunday due to the thick smoke.
“We cannot have air support, it’s too dangerous, we’ll have to be extra vigilant on our fire lines because the visibility on the fire line is also compromised with this type of smoke,” says Rice.
Rice says this is some of the thickest smoke she has seen in the valley and many residents agree.
“It’s the smokiest I’ve ever seen it, absolutely,” says Farnell.
Residents are advised to expect varying levels of smoke for the next few days.
welcome to @LakeBreezeWines we’ve got the best view on the lake in all of penticton!!! pic.twitter杭州龙凤/6vw0WjXI5L
— Laurenz (@suremeister) August 23, 2015
View down the Coldstream Valley just outside of #vernonbc today. #fires #okanagan #airquality @CityofVernon pic.twitter杭州龙凤/FD3qbBnWrM
— KeliWestgate (@KeliWestgate) August 23, 2015
Forrest fires near penticton 🙁 both days same time and place pic.twitter杭州龙凤/yyMuDc9KVZ
— cassidy (@cpetersonnnn) August 23, 2015
Okanagan Lake Beach #Penticton #bcwildfire pic.twitter杭州龙凤/4aoHZmSvHc
— Alyson Skinner (@AlySkinner) August 23, 2015
@KateGajdosik @GlobalBC difference between yesterday and today in Penticton,thick smoke is like fog today pic.twitter杭州龙凤/caIJnoglPR
— Malcolm Mackay (@MalcMack7) August 23, 2015
What a difference a day makes. Clear and sunny to solid smoke #noviewofthelake #penticton pic.twitter杭州龙凤/gVl8W5YUXA
— paul ermantrout (@paulermantrout) August 23, 2015