BLUE SKIES                                While fires are burning elsewhere in the South Okanagan and Similkameen, the sky is clear and bright at Sunoka Provincial Park in Summerland. David Hull, executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, believes the term “Smokanagan” is an inaccurate descriptor this summer.                                (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

BLUE SKIES While fires are burning elsewhere in the South Okanagan and Similkameen, the sky is clear and bright at Sunoka Provincial Park in Summerland. David Hull, executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, believes the term “Smokanagan” is an inaccurate descriptor this summer. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Summerland chamber director objects to ‘Smokanagan’ moniker

Tourism businesses struggling, even though fire season far less severe than previous two years

While some large wildfires have been burning in the region, the executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce takes issue with the term “Smokanagan” to describe the valley during the fire season.

“There is nothing at all, at this time, to indicate that we are returning to the smoky skies of the last two summers,” said David Hull. “There’s a slight haze, but it’s not like last year.”

READ ALSO: No more Smokanagan, let’s claim summer back

His comments came after one Okanagan media outlet used the word “Smokanagan” in a headline. The headline was later changed.

Hull’s objection to “Smokanagan” in the headline because of its potential effects on tourism in the region.

The summer of 2017 and the summer of 2018 were the worst B.C. wildfire seasons on record in terms of the number of fires, the amount of land burned and the costs of fighting fires.

Tourism-related businesses are still feeling the effects of those fire seasons, and those businesses which rely on tourism have been struggling this year.

“We have to rebuild our bright, sunny Okanagan reputation,” Hull said. “Tourism’s a big part of the economy.”

READ ALSO: The Smokanagan, Part One: How wildfire smoke affects children

READ ALSO: The Smokanagan, Part two: Physical health effects

READ ALSO: The Smokanagan, Part three: Mental health effects

While the skies in many parts of the Okanagan are not smoky, Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for the South Okanagan, from Summerland to Osoyoos and Keremeos.

“During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour,” the air quality statement reads. “If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Firefighters responded to a house fire on Banks Crescent in Summerland on Friday afternoon. The fire began as a stovetop fire but resulted in significant damages. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Fire results in damage to Summerland home

Crews called on Friday, April 9 following stovetop fire

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The Town of Oliver’s Town Offices, which the town wants to get designated a heritage site. (Black Press)
Oliver council to weigh nixing alerts for water leaks

Staff say the policy has served its purpose in fixing the majority of leaks

(Stock photo)
Snow levels above normal in Okanagan

Spring temperatures, rainfall will affect risk of flooding

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Alastair Grant
Flags drop, bells toll as Canadians remember special relationship with Prince Philip

‘He was often portrayed as a brisk or brusque, rough character… but it’s that other side of him, the caring individual who spent time with people and asked questions and showed compassion’

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

The Royal’s 1951 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

Nolan's Pharmasave in downtown Vernon received 200 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines Friday, April 9, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
AstraZeneca vaccines arrive at Vernon pharmacies

Four pharmacies in the city received doses of the COVID-19 inoculant Friday

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on Thursday, April 8. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

Most Read