VICTORIA — Cooler temperatures on Thursday gave fire crews some respite as they battle a growing number of wildfires in British Columbia.
Information from the Forest Fire Protection Service showed little growth in six fires in the province that are either very large or a threat to homes and properties.
The fire southwest of Penticton, however, is an exception: they had increased Wednesday from 28 square kilometers to just over 42 km2, while high winds pushed the flames towards the town of Olalla.
Firefighters expect to release a new perimeter map after controlled burns on the flank of the blaze closest to Highway 3A on Wednesday dropped debris on the road between Keremeos and Kaleden, briefly forcing the closure of the road.
Nearly 300 firefighters are assigned to the blaze, and the Forest Fire Protection Service says cleanup of controlled burns and fire activity from Wednesday evening continues, as temperatures in the south Okanagan remain cool — but should reach 30 degrees by the weekend.
Open fire bans are also expected to come into effect in Kamloops, the Southeast and most coastal areas.
The Forest Fire Protection Service has counted a total of 530 fires since the start of the season, including 151 in the past seven days.