News Wildfire smoke severely affecting air quality across the Kootenays SHARE ON: Bradley Jones, staff September 12, 2020 Wildfire smoke over downtown Cranbrook on Saturday, September 12, 2020. (Bradley Jones, MyEastKootenayNow.com staff) Wildfire smoke from within B.C. and the United States is negatively affecting air quality across the East and West Kootenays this weekend. On Saturday, the B.C. Air Quality Health Index was a “10” for the East Kootenay and a “10+” for the West Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary. Both of those ratings are to determine health risk. The B.C. Air Quality Health Index begins with a “1” for a low health risk up to “10” for high health risks. The East Kootenay’s air quality station is based in Cranbrook, while the West Kootenay is stationed in Castlegar. MORE: B.C. Air Quality Health Index (B.C. Government) “Smoke forecast models indicate the potential for a significant push of smoke into B.C. throughout the weekend,” reads a Smoky Skies Bulletin, which is in effect for the majority of the province. “The anticipated smoke trajectory indicates that the areas impacted will grow to the north and east as the weekend progresses with the most widespread impacts expected on Sunday.” “With falling temperatures overnight, temperature inversions in mountain valleys can increase the likelihood of smoke being trapped near the ground.” The B.C. Government said localized wildfires including the Doctor Creek Wildfire southwest of Canal Flats, the Talbot Creek Wildfire north of Castlegar, and the Woodbury Creek Wildfire northwest of Nelson are to blame for some of the smoky impacts. However, long-range transport from hundreds of wildfires burning in the western United States in Washington, Oregon, and California are also hampering air quality. MORE: Smoky Skies Bulletin – September 11, 2020 (B.C. Government) On Monday, September 14th, the B.C. Government may issue another Smoky Skies Bulletin to update for the current conditions.