The BC Forest Fire Service (BCWS) says this weekend’s high temperatures could lead to challenging fire conditions, but rain is forecast to arrive starting Monday.
It comes after a week of tenacious firefighting allowed thousands of people to return to their homes in the Okanagan region.
In the Shuswap region to the north, the BCWS says a warming and drying trend will fuel increased fire behavior on the 430-square-kilometre Bush Creek East fire before temperatures are expected to drop next year. Tuesday.
Jean Strong, BCWS fire information officer, said prolonged drought across much of British Columbia has left trees and fuels highly vulnerable to new fires, and lightning is forecast on Vancouver Island and parts of the South coast.
“However, we do anticipate some precipitation,” he told Breaking:, noting that there could also be some wind and a return to near-seasonal temperatures.
Strong says the rain won’t be a “miracle cure” to end the unprecedented fire season, but it can increase relative humidity and help firefighters in southern British Columbia.
He added that more firefighters and support personnel from Mexico, Australia and South Africa would arrive in the coming days.
More than 1,800 people return home to the Okanagan
The BC Forest Fire Service says the West Kelowna, BC, fire department is returning to “normal daily operations,” 10 days after a fast-moving wildfire forced thousands to flee and destroyed more of 180 homes in the area.
In the Kelowna area, another 1,800 people were allowed to return home this weekend as evacuation orders were lifted in communities on both sides of Okanagan Lake.
Interior Health says that residents of two more long-term care homes They are among those returning home “gradually and carefully” after being evacuated on Aug. 18.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center says 1,588 properties remain under evacuation order in fire-ravaged West Kelowna, and 1,114 remain under order in rural areas of the regional district, as well as on Westbank First Nations land.
The center says another 15,184 properties remain on evacuation alert and residents have been told to be ready to leave immediately.
It says the two wildfires that have threatened the Lake Country district and the city of Kelowna are classified as “on hold” and crews are patrolling for hot spots.
But the McDougall Creek wildfire, responsible for much of the destruction in the West Kelowna area, continues to burn unchecked across 50 square miles.
If the site and weather conditions are favorable, crews and air resources will conduct ignition operations in two sections of the fire perimeter to secure containment lines.
Air Quality Advisories and Heat Advisories in Effect
Air quality advisories stemming from wildfire smoke remain in effect for the southern coast and southern interior of British Columbia, along with parts of the north, from Bulkley Valley to the Peace region.
Heat advisories issued by Environment & Climate Change Canada for the inland north coast, including #TerraceBC & #Kitimat and North Peace River, including Fort St. John. Follow all thermal safety recommendations. More information: https://t.co/z2ZnrCapuJ #BCHeat@ECCCWeatherBC
Environment Canada has also issued a heat warning for inland sections of the north coast, including Terrace and Kitimat, as well as the Peace region.
The weather bureau says daytime highs near 30 C are expected to persist through Tuesday near the coast and into Wednesday in northeast British Columbia.