Penticton, Summerland, Naramata, Keremeos, Oliver, and Osoyoos residents warned about wildfire smoke

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Environment Canada has issued a special air-quality statement for the South Okanagan.

      It states that residents of Penticton, Summerland, Naramata, Keremeos, Oliver, and Osoyoos will be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours.

      "People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure," Environment Canada says on its website.

      The alert came after the Eagle Bluff interface fire north of Oliver grew to 225 hectares by last night.

      Evacuation alerts remain in place for some properties along Highway 97 in Electoral Area "C" south of Gallagher Lake.

      There are 100 personnel battling the blaze with the help of six helicopters and two water tenders.

      In May, the B.C. Medical Journal published an article focusing on the growing impact that climate change is having on people's mental health.

      The author, Dr. Elizabeth Wiley, cited B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy data showing that that the average temperature in B.C. has increased by 1.4 degrees Celsius in the last century.

      "Specifically, climate change has been associated with numerous health conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, grief, substance use disorders, and suicidal ideation among many others," she wrote. "Older adults, children, those with pre-existing conditions, comorbidities, limited culturally safe supports, and/or lower socioeconomic status may be more vulnerable during emergencies."

      Meanwhile, strong winds in the Cassiar Fire Zone have caused the Barrington River wildfire in northwestern B.C. to expand to 4,400 hectares. That's more than 10 times the size of Vancouver's Stanley Park.

      This wildfire is 46 kilometres west of Telegraph Creek.