July 16, 2014 - 10:58 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - There have been more than 25 wildfires in the Kamloops Fire Centre in the past two days but most of the smoke in the air is coming from the more than 36,000 hectares burning in northern B.C.
Just yesterday crews battled fires at Apex Mountain in Penticton, Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna and near Murray Lake along the Coquihalla Highway. Crews also continue to watch over fires at Sugar Lake east of Vernon and near Wells Gray Park northwest of Blue River. Both were discovered Saturday.
By afternoon yesterday crews were pulled off the Murray Lake fire because of the aggressive nature of the blaze and information officers with B.C Wildfire say many more fires are beginning to display these aggressive traits as we move into an extreme fire danger rating.
The hot and dry conditions are of great concern to B.C. Wildfire crews and have lead to campfire bans in the Kamloops, Northwest, Coastal and Cariboo fire centres starting at noon today.
The fires to the north have local officers thinking about immediate concerns.
“We could start to see that activity down here soon,” Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says. “It usually starts in the north and then comes down.”
The fires she referred to now account for more than 36,000 hectares of burning bush and forest. Combined with nearly 15,000 ha burning in the Northwest region and large fires in Alberta and the Northwest Territories smoke is becoming more prevalent throughout the province.
The air quality rating for Kamloops and most parts of the Okanagan sits at a moderate four today though the B.C. Air Quality site shows a concentration of smoke moving through the region over the next 24 hours.
B.C. Wildfire asks anyone who sees smoke or flames to report it by calling 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from your cell phone.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014