Trail, Nelson and Castlegar were the most smoke-polluted communities in B.C. as of Wednesday afternoon.
IQAir, which measures air quality across the world, said Trail reached 374 on the air quality index (AQI), which the site categorizes as “hazardous.” Nelson followed at 326, followed by Castlegar at 294 as of 3:30 p.m.
A score of zero to 50 is considered good quality by the website.
IQAir states the wildfire smoke level in Trail is 64.7 times the World Health Organization’s air quality guideline value.
Several Okanagan communities including Lumby, Vernon, Sicamous, Salmon Arm and West Kelowna were also listed as hazardous.
Environment Canada has issued an air quality alert for much of much of central and southeastern B.C.
“Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations,” the alert states. “Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke.”
The origins of the smoke appear to be fires in the South Okanagan and the Kamloops areas, according to the site firesmoke.ca.
In the Kootenays, there are two wildfires of note both in the East Kootenay: the Horsethief Creek blaze burning at 3,918.5 hectares and the Lladnar Creek at an estimated 1,200 hectares.