Air quality

The Regional Air Quality Program is a joint initiative between the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), District of Peachland and the District of Lake Country.  

Aligning with B.C. government initiatives, the Program aims to protect and improve air quality in the Central Okanagan through education, awareness and pollution prevention. For complete information about the Air Quality Program, visit regionaldistrict.com/air quality or contact the Regional Air Quality Coordinator at 250-469-8408 or airquality@kelowna.ca.

Air Quality Concerns?

Residential
For residential smoke (indoor appliances) and local air quality concerns, please submit a request online.

Outdoor Burning
For outdoor wood burning please visit Outdoor Burning

Industrial
For industrial-related concerns about air quality in the Central Okanagan, please contact the Ministry of Environment: EnvironmentalComplaints@gov.bc.ca or call the 24-hour RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) tip-line: 1-877-952-7277.

The Ministry of Environment’s reactive team collects information from all the received complaints and that data is used to support planned inspections. Any evidence of ash or smoke leaving the property would be used to strengthen a complaint. If you are including photos with your complaint, be sure the sun is at your back when the picture is taken.

Current Air Quality Conditions

What to do when a Smoky Skies Advisory is in place?

When an Air Quality advisory is  in place for the Central Okanagan, please check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) frequently as it can change within hours. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change. Check the Interative Wildfire Map and  Smoke Forecasts  to look for active wilfires and how smoke could affect our region. 

If you are planning a trip within BC, check the BC Air Quality website prior to your trip and during your stay to verify air quality conditions and learn how to protect your health. 

How can we protect ourselves when the smoke is at high levels?
  • The most important thing is to reduce your exposure.
  • Refrain from exercising outdoors.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and try to keep your indoor environment smoke-free. Keep doors, windows and fireplace dampers shut.
  • Buildings such as shopping malls, community centres and libraries also tend to have better indoor air quality because they have larger air filtration systems. 
  • Create a little clean-air shelter in your home by using a portable HEPA air cleaner.
  • Use air conditioners on the recirculation setting so outside air will not be moved inside.
  • Drinking lots of water can help reduce inflammation and people should try to take it easy. The harder you’re breathing, the more smoke you’re inhaling.
  • Take extra precaution with children, who are more susceptible to smoke because their breathing systems are still developing and they breathe in more air (and therefore more smoke) than adults.
  • Older adults are more likely to have heart or lung disease, which can make them more susceptible to smoke. Extra precaution should also be taken during forest fire season.
  • Masks are an important tool for people who have to work outdoors, but it needs to be an N95 respirator properly fit-tested by a professional – paper surgical or dust masks do not offer any protection.
  • If you're driving, check road and weather conditions, as well as Wildfire Highway Closures.  Keep your windows and vents closed while driving. Only use air conditioning in the “recirculate” setting.