A car covered in dust from the air sits on a Rutland street in Kelowna. (Carli Berry/Kelowna Capital News)

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Jenifer Calhoun watched as ash settled on her patio furniture and in her children’s sandbox in the backyard of her Kelowna home.

Calhorn and two of her three children have asthma, which is keeping them indoors.

“It’s disgusting, it is way worse than last year,” she said. “Of course, all of our inhalers are used now.”

The family has been avoiding the outdoors.

“There’s been days where you can actually see wisps of smoke in the backyard, like right around face level. I don’t remember seeing that last year. It was actually way up high, and it went away after a week. This is like it’s settled in and it’s not going away,” Calhorn said.

“Little Hailey, she’s been coughing, sputtering tons,” she said. Hailey is four years old.

Calhorn has a cough that won’t go away, and she makes short trips to the grocery store.

A thick blanket of smoke continues to cover the Okanagan.

According to Environment Canada’s Air Quality Index, all of the Okanagan Valley is sitting at 10+ out of 10, which is considered a very high risk.

Related: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

Related: Temporary smoke relief in sight for Kelowna

The national forecaster recommends avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, and children and the elderly should avoid outside physical exertion.

As of Saturday morning, Kelowna and Vernon’s air quality was considered hazardous, while Coldstream’s was considered unhealthy, according to a real-time air quality tracker.

Sunday’s predictions for the Okanagan is expected to reach a level of eight.

In terms of air quality measurements, air quality is measured by particulate matter 2.5, called PM2.5, which is the amount of tiny particles or droplets in the air, according to New York State’s Department of Health.

Currently, Prince George has a reading of 402. To compare, Courtenay has no smoke on Vancouver Island and has a rating of 10. Surrey had a reading of 53.

Kelowna currently has worse air than Jodhpur, India, a city which is considered by the World Health Organization to have some of the worst air in the world. Kelowna sits at 287 PM 2.5 as of 8:3o a.m. while Jodhpur is 183. The scale ranges from 1 to 500+. Anything above 100 PM 2.5 is considered to carry a health risk.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert’s 2019 budget passed, $15K raise for mayor

City council members to receive 25 per cent of what the mayor makes

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Hazelton RCMP officer pleads not guilty to assault

A trial date for Const. Eric Unrau will be set on Apr. 23

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Verdict scheduled in Giesbrecht murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court justice will render his decision May 24

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

More than $100,000 raised for family of professional skier who died near Pemberton

Dave Treadway leaves behind his pregnant wife and two young boys

BC SPCA asks public for donations after puppy caught in trap

The puppy’s medical bills are expected to amount to more than $4,600

Most Read