Steady weather allows fire crews to focus on containing BC wildfires

Crews battling the wildfire that has forced the evacuation of more than 500 properties in British Columbia’s South Okanagan are taking advantage of calm winds and stable conditions to bolster fire lines.

The BC Wildfire Service says the wildfire covers 68 square kilometers southwest of Penticton, with most of the recent growth due to planned ignitions needed to create the lines of control.

An update from the Forest Fire Department says the newly created lines of control are « holding up well. »

It says a key objective is to continue clean-up work along Highway 3A with the aim of reopening the road linking Keremeos and the evacuated community of Olalla to towns further north.

Crews are closely monitoring the weather as a storm approaches Washington state, bringing showers later this week and possible lightning on Wednesday.

The Forest Fire Department has recorded 564 fires since the start of the season, including 58 in the past seven days, and lists the degree of fire danger as high to extreme on Vancouver Island, coastwide of British Columbia and in the southern quarter of the province.

Of the eight notable wildfires currently burning at fire stations in Kamloops and the Southeast, only the blaze near Penticton continues to keep residents from returning home.

None of the other seven have grown significantly in recent days and the Forest Fire Department’s website says the roughly three square kilometer blaze on the prairies northwest of Kamloops is now listed as « in course », allowing teams to complete the construction of lines of control.

Notable wildfires are either highly visible or pose a threat to people or property.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 9, 2022.


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