An evacuation order covering hundreds of properties south of Kamloops, BC, has been lowered to an alert as crews move apace to contain a wildfire about 10 kilometers south of the city.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is allowing residents of 327 properties to return home, though they must be ready to go again at short notice.
The 10-square-mile Ross Moore Lake wildfire was sparked by lightning a week ago and forced the evacuation of properties from Lac Le Jeune to near the outskirts of Kamloops.
The regional district says 18 properties remain on evacuation order, but the city of Kamloops has ended its evacuation alert for the city’s southeast Knutsford neighborhood as the BC Forest Fire Service reports clearing up of the flank of the fire closest to those homes. .
The fire is still listed as out of control, but guards are being built and an additional 40 firefighters were expected around the clock to be concentrated in areas that need cleaning and patrolling.
The wildfire service says about 380 fires are burning in BC, including 22 rated as highly visible or threatening “notable fires,” but authorities say only three new fires have broken out in the past 24 hours.
Recent rains and cooler weather have lowered the wildfire danger rating across much of BC, but forecasters say another heat wave is expected next week and warn the rain hasn’t significantly improved dry conditions. extreme that affect the province.
Concerns about hot, dry weather ahead prompted Metro Vancouver to announce Stage 2 watering restrictions effective next Friday.
George Harvie, president of the organization that serves about two dozen local governments and First Nations on the southern inland coast, said treated drinking water use remains higher than average among Metro Vancouver residents.
“We are taking this proactive step to ensure that our region’s 2.8 million residents have sufficient drinking water for essential uses through the remainder of the dry season,” Harvie said in a statement.
Stage 2 restrictions prohibit all lawn watering.
Since early May, water use across the region has been about 20 percent higher than last year, Metro Vancouver said, with residents using more water every day compared to 2022.
In Stage 2, watering the lawn or cleaning sidewalks or driveways is not allowed, and water features such as fountains cannot be filled or refilled.
But orchards can be irrigated at any time and trees, shrubs and flowers can be watered by hand or using soaker hoses or drip irrigation at any time, or by using a sprinkler between 5 and 9 a.m. any day, said the district.
Stage 1 watering restrictions began in May in Metro Vancouver and across much of BC, limiting the days and times that lawns can be watered.