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Rain and cooler temperatures to help wildfire fight this week

The Nk'Mip Creek was experiencing rank 5 fire activity on the NE front with gusting winds up to 60 km/hr, the BC Wildfire Service said Monday. (Courtesy BC Wildfire Service)
Summary

Some rain and cooler temperatures are expected to help B.C.'s wildfire fight Monday and Tuesday

BC Wildfire Service says there will be some reprieve in terms of heat in the Interior

Wind caused erratic fire behaviour in several areas, including near Kamloops and Kelowna

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As wildfires grow in the B.C. Interior, hope is that cooler temperatures and some rain will help firefighting efforts.

NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Michael Kuss says it’s much needed, after the wind caused major issues in the last 24 hours. Kuss says Monday will be a turning point.

“Strong, gusty winds into the southern Interior will fan the flames of the forest fires burning. But cooler air is on the way and some wet weather too,” Kuss said.

The Interior has seen record-breaking temperatures this summer, and temperatures are expected to finally drop down below 30 in many areas.

“Cooler air is on the way in its wake late Tuesday into Wednesday so that is definitely an assistance, a help. It’s not going to be that hot really all week long for most of the province.”

Although the cooldown is expected to help, continuing winds could be devastating for thousands of people who live near the wildfires.

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Tremont Creek

Significant growth has been reported of a wildfire near Kamloops over the weekend. The Tremont Creek wildfire is threatening homes in the Cherry Creek community, and the entire city of Kamloops is under an evacuation alert.

The Logan Lake area is also impacted by this fire.

That area is expected to see some showers and a risk of thunderstorms, which could help, but it could also hurt. New fires can be sparked by lightning, and despite some rain, conditions in the forests remain very dry.

White Rock Lake Wildfire

Kelowna residents are expected to see some showers Monday through to Wednesday, a welcome sight for the area which is watching the Mount Law Wildfire, burning near West Kelowna, as well as the White Rock Lake fire.

“Multiple structures in the Killiney area experienced significant damage overnight as drought conditions and high winds increased fire action on the White Rock Lake Fire,” the Central Okanagan Regional District said in a statement Monday.

The weather is also crucial to ensure visibility and safe flying conditions for those fighting the fires from the sky. The air resources fighting the White Rock Lake wildfire near Vernon were grounded over the weekend.

The strong, gusting winds have further challenging efforts and led to wildfire growth. As of Sunday night that fire is an estimated 62,273 hectares.

“The White Rock Lake wildfire continues to be an incident that is posing some challenges for us,” said Erika Berg with the BC Wildfire Service.

She adds that crews are expecting to see winds level off Monday afternoon in some of those areas in the Interior.

Nk’Mip Creek Wildfire

The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire burning north of Osoyoos has also worsened due to the weather. Crews have seen erratic and extreme fire conditions over the weekend.

The BC Wildfire Service says a frontal system carried warm, dry air over the weekend. By Monday morning, that fire had moved uphill into Mt. Baldy.

Fire crews from Mexico and Australia remain in high-priority areas to protect structures.

“With cooler temperatures and low winds in coming days, we will be continuing the building of guards in the north and north east as well as significant mopping up in the south, east and west.,” the BC Wildfire Service wrote online. “Planned ignitions may occur in the coming days if conditions allow to burn from guards towards the fire.”

Rain for Vancouver

Kuss says that Vancouver’s dry summer is also seeing a few days of moisture ahead this week. However, by Wednesday, conditions are expected to dry up again.

Metro Vancouver, the Southern Gulf Islands, and the Fraser Valley are the only areas in southern B.C. which are not under an air quality statement due to wildfire smoke.

With files from Dean Recksiedler and Martin MacMahon