KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – A slight temperature cool down in the Interior isn’t doing much to help fire crews in that region.
Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula says so far, there hasn’t been enough rain to make a difference in firefighting efforts.
“It is much cooler here today, which is a nice reprieve. However, we’ve seen minimal precipitation today from talking to people throughout the interior it’s sounding similar that minimal precipitation has been recieved.”
A big change in the weather pattern today as an upper low brings showers and thunderstorms to most of southern BC. Severe thunderstorm watches are in effect for several regions of the southern interior. https://t.co/pBlL5yJ8Wl #BCStorm #Kelowna #Kamloops #Revelstoke pic.twitter.com/oUWg43W7Mk
— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) August 11, 2018
She says the main concern now is the growing risk of lightning, which can cause new fires to flare up. A number of small ones have already been reported. Stronger winds are also expected, making it easier for the flames to spread.
“Lightning this morning, very minimal amounts of precipitation,” she says. “It’s cooler weather, it’s definitely more moist in the air, but not what we were kind of hoping for.”
Without any help from the weather, Kekula says crews are left to deal with wildfires on their own. However, the slight dip in temperatures has provided some relief.
“[They’re] probably on their second or third pull of these hot, dry temperatures and not only that, there’s really steep terrain. They’re literally walking up and down mountains.”
She says the goal now is to focus on containing the wildfires before possible winds start up.
Meantime, the more than 13,000 hectare wildfire burning near the US border continues to grow. However, Kekula says the growth is anticipated.
“Our focus has been on the north flank towards the life and properties, and the east flank where there was a lot of properties on evacuation orders has been downgraded to alerts. The structural protection units have been demobilized, and same on the south flank towards the United States.”
Despite growth, she adds crews are seeing some progress as well.
Closer to the Lower Mainland, the large wildfire burning just east of Harrison Hot Springs has forced the region to shut down Sasquatch Provincial Park.
In a release, the province says the 100 hectare fire just off Highway 7 has grown, and due to a change in fire behaviour, the district is removing anyone in the area in an effort to keep people safe.
It’s also issuing another reminder that there is a campfire ban in place for the entirety of BC, except for a certain part of the Price George Fire Centre and the “Fog Zone” on Vancouver Island.
BC firefighters are being assisted by a number of resources from out of province, including from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico.