Smoke to stick around in Kelowna until weekend

There won't be much air movement in Kelowna for the rest of the week.

Environment Canada Meteorlogist Cindy Yu says we're still under a ridge of high pressure - and the smoke will continue to cause poor air quality and reduced visibility until the weekend.

She says "we still have the smoky sky bulletin in effect for the Okanagan region". The bulletin warns you may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. 

Yu says the good news is conditions will begin to change Friday night with the arrival of a low pressure system.

"With that we should see a southwesterly wind start to develop, and by late Saturday and through Sunday, we're expecting a chance of showers - and hopefully with the combination of the two - we will start to see some improvement in the air quality", she says. 

But Yu also says there's a chance of thunderstorms with lightning which could spark more wildfires. 

The BC Wildfire Service says it'll be closely monitoring these changing weather conditions.

Fire Information Officer Rachel Witt agrees there's a real possibility of lightning, with just a few millimetres of rain - and this has prompted a warning.

"We want ot make sure that if there is lighting causing any wildfires, that our resources are able to be put onto those fires - and that fire crews don't have to fight any human-caused wildfires - so just extra caution right now as we are expecting to see some lightning." she says. 

Witt says a blaze near Anarchist Mountain, east of Osoyoos Lake, is being held at 10 hectares - while the other fire of note is northwest of Kamloops at Elephant Hill.

She says there are 16 active wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre which includes Kelowna. 

Across the province - another 28 fires ignited in less than two days largely due to lightning in the northeast and southeast parts of BC.

So far this season - BC has seen 928 fires that have scorched more than 6,000 square kilometres of land.