SMOKE PROJECTIONS

Air quality is gradually improving in some central and northern regions of B.C., but smoky skies are still forecast for the Okanagan on Friday.

A smoke predictor feature of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s website shows somewhat brightening conditions in Revelstoke and Kamloops.

But the air quality throughout most of the Okanagan is predicted to be at “unhealthy” levels. The exception is the southernmost areas of the Valley, where the air quality is predicted to be “very unhealthy‚”

During periods of “unhealthy” air conditions, people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. Everyone else should limit their outdoor exertion.

At “very unhealthy” levels of air quality, people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid any outdoor activity. Everyone else should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion.

The website measures and predicts atmospheric particulate matter that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about one-twentieth the diameter of a strand of human hair.

Particles smaller than PM 2.5 are a concern because they are so small they can penetrate into the lungs.

Some clearing of the smoke is possible later today, however, as the forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of showers, the chance of rain on Saturday is put at 60 per cent.

While Sunday and Monday are currently predicted to bring a mix of sun and cloud, Environment Canada says there’s a 30 percent chance of showers both nights.