Nelson from Gyro Park lookout on July 23. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson from Gyro Park lookout on July 23. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Smoke in Nelson is from fires to the west

Westerly winds and steep valleys are the cause, says city’s emergency operations coordinator

The smoke in Nelson is coming from fires west of us, according to Lindsay Eastwood, Nelson’s emergency management coordinator.

That includes the fires at Trozzo Creek in the Slocan Valley; Octopus Creek, Michaud Creek and Renata Creek on Lower Arrow Lake; and perhaps the Nk’Mip Creek fire east of Osoyoos.

“There is a westerly flow, so anything over west of us is pushing over. If you look at Drive BC and some of their traffic cams today, you can see that the air is much clearer in Kelowna and down through the Okanagan.”

Eastwood said our steeper valleys hold the smoke while the wind stays up higher and does not push it further east.

She recommends the website to keep up to date on smoke movements.

The BC Centre for Disease Control website contains extensive information about the health effects and components of wildfire smoke pollution, and gives the following advice for protection from it:

• Use a portable HEPA air cleaner to filter the air in one area of your home

• Visit public spaces such as community centres, libraries, and shopping malls which tend to have cleaner, cooler indoor air

• Take it easy on smoky days because the harder you breathe, the more smoke you inhale

• Drink lots of water to help reduce inflammation

• If you are working outdoors, use an N95 respirator that has been properly fitted by occupational health and safety professionals.

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