Smoke from the interior engulfs Hope again, as photographed on Monday noon. (X. Y. Zeng photo)

Smoke from the interior engulfs Hope again, as photographed on Monday noon. (X. Y. Zeng photo)

UPDATE: Health risk low currently; expected to get worse as smokiness increases

Fire chief also advising residents to stay prepared

UPDATE: Environment Canada has put the air quality health index risk at “low” meaning the general population can continue their outdoor activities. That is expected to go up one notch on the scale, but still in the low risk category tonight. By tomorrow, they expect it to enter into the moderate risk category.

Smoke from the interior has returned to Hope again, according to Hope Fire Department fire chief Tom DeSorcy, who received confirmation from the officials in the forest service.

DeSorcy adds that the air quality will diminish over the next few days as outflow conditions come the incoming heat wave.

“When it first came over the mountain, people were going, ‘There’s new smoke.’ Yeah, it’s not new smoke, it’s from the existing fires right now,” said DeSorcy. “As best as I can guess is that it’s coming from the interior, Cache Creek and such.”

DeSorcy also put out a reminder for residents to stay prepared for wildfires.

“This is an opportune time to remind people that other people are evacuating — what if it happened to you?” said DeSorcy. “Are you prepared?”

There are hard copies of information on how to prepare and also advises people to go onto the Government of British Columbia’s website to learn more.

DeSorcy advises that a key aspect involves understanding how close to wooded area a resident lives, and then minimize flammable material around a house.

“Don’t give a fire, if it were to approach our area, a chance to get to your buildings or home,” said DeSorcy.

Another aspect involves understanding what one would take and do given an evacuation, such as preparing a home during an evacuation and also preparing to survive for 72 hours.

DeSorcy said that Hope is “susceptible” to a wildfire, hence the campfire ban.

“At the end of the day, we could experience wildfire behaviour if something gets started and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said DeSorcy. “We’re worrying about anyone and anything doing something they shouldn’t in the forest.

“We have a lot of motor vehicles in our community … a simple vehicle fire on the highway could certainly cause us some issues.”


 

news@hopestandard.com

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