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Southern B.C. Interior cities have worst air quality in Canada

Ten cities from the Okanagan, Columbia and central Kootenays ranked one through 10
The community of Falkland is located between Kamloops and Vernon, two cities among 10 from B.C.’s Southern Interior region that have the 10 worst air quality indexes in Canada thanks to wildfire smoke. (Brenda Giesbrecht photo)

We’re No. 1.

We’re also number two through 10.

According to the website, the top-10 worst air quality indexes (AQI) in Canada are held, as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, by Southern Interior cities and regions.

This, of course, is due to the wildfire smoke blanketing the province.

Coming in at No. 1 is Kamloops, with an air quality index of 304. The higher the score, the greater level of air pollution there is and, of course, the greater the health concern. Anything below 50 is good air, anything above 300 is bad. Very bad.

And all but one of the cities have a higher or equal AQI than the city ranked No. 1 in the world for worst air quality: Santiago, Chile, at 169.

Rounding out the top-10 in B.C.:

2 - Chase (259);

3 - Kelowna (253);

4 - Regional District of Central Kootenay (Nelson area) (249);

5 - Vernon (239);

6 - Salmon Arm (220);

7 - Lumby (207);

8 - Golden (181);

9 - Kelowna College (UBCO) - (169);

10 - Coldstream (163).

The air quality in Kamloops is described as hazardous; From Chase to Lumby, the quality is labelled very unhealthy, and for Golden, Kelowna College and Coldstream, it’s rated as unhealthy.

In contrast, six Canadian cities have an AQI of zero including Chetwynd, in B.C.’s north region. The others are Carrot Creek, Edson and Lethbridge, Alta; Labrador City and Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, Que.

READ MORE: Rain forecasted for the Okanagan Valley this weekend

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