Air quality and the Sorrento Centre

LATEST UPDATE: Friday, August 18, 2023 – 9:00AM

The Air Quality Health Index (the BC government’s official air quality monitoring service) dropped overnight to Low Risk (3) for the North Okanagan, including Sorrento, as of Friday at 9 am. The forecast is that it may rise to Moderate Risk (4 – 6) today and tomorrow. Although the index has dropped, there is still considerable wildfire smoke over the Shuswap, mostly from the fire burning to the north near Adams Lake. The Adams Lake wildfire was visible on the northwestern horizon as it crested the hills of the North Shuswap on Thursday night.

The official message from the BC government regarding Low Risk (3) is:

  • At risk population – Enjoy your usual outdoor activities.
  • General population – Ideal air quality for outdoor activities.

Environment Canada issued a Smoky Skies Bulletin on Friday morning for the Shuswap region, including Sorrento. People with lung diseases and those working outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing symptoms. Environment Canada has also issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Friday with a 30% chance of lightning, wind gusts and rain. Environment Canada projects daytime temperatures will be in the low to mid-20s on Friday and the weekend, after highs in the mid-30s this week. Night temperatures are forecast to drop to the low.

BC Wildfire Service reports that they completed a controlled burn for the Adams Lake Fire to limit its spread in advance of Thursday evening’s wind gusts. They maintain a “full response” including aircraft and personnel on the ground that will continue until the wildfire is out. There are evacuation orders or alerts in several areas in the North Shuswap. There are no restrictions or alerts for the South Shuswap, including the Sorrento Centre. Here is the update from BC Wildfire for as of 11 pm on Thursday: “The aerial ignition is now successfully completed on the Lower East Adams Lake wildfire. Fire that is used in a controlled manner will now safely burn to guards while being monitored by crews patrolling along the powerlines. This reduces the risk of embers being cast from out-of-control burning that may occur when winds shift to come from the north later this evening. There will be active fire visible from the Shuswap Lake area as it gets darker. When the smoke column collapses, dense smoke may occur overnight and into the morning in the area as well… As of 11 PM, there is no organized spread south of the powerlines. Crews remain on site and are patrolling for hotspots and extinguishing them.”

The Sorrento Centre offers spaces that are cooled and/or air conditioned for our guests and we have teamed with neighbours, including the Sorrento Memorial Hall and St Mary’s Anglican / United Church, to provide indoor spaces. The Sorrento Centre values the health and well-being of our guests, staff and neighbours. This information will be updated as we continue regular monitoring of official sources.

Prepared by Michael Shapcott, Executive Director
Sorrento Centre –
Telephone: 250-675-2421

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