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Northern B.C. forest fires blamed for smoky Kamloops skies

The smoke haze can be seen hanging over the valley in Kamloops, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. The smoke is from forest fires burning in northern B.C.
August 17, 2014 - 1:04 PM

KAMLOOPS – Hopefully the smoky air in Kamloops will be short-lived as a change in the weather is predicted early in the week.

The skies are smoky in the Tournament Capital thanks to smoke from all the forest fires burning in the Prince George and Cariboo Fire Centres, according to B.C. Wildfire Management fire information officer Kelsey Winter.

“We’re getting that flow of air that’s pushing the smoke into the valley,” Winter says.

The big fires are the Chelaslie River blaze and the China Nose fire, she says.

The Chelaslie River fire in the Cariboo is huge — roughly 108,000 square kilometres in size. The lightning caused wildfire is burning out of control and has prompted an evacuation alert for several properties in the area.

The China Nose forest fire has burned about 3,700 square hectares and is 20 per cent contained. The interface fire threatens homes in the Bulkey-Nechako region. Evacuation orders and alerts are in place.

A change in the weather is needed to get rid of the smoke.

“We need to switch back to a southwesterly flow because right now it’s all coming down from the north,” Winter says. “Normally that happens when we get a cold system moving through which we are supposed to get at the beginning of the week so hopefully it will clear up shortly.”

Environment Canada forecaster John McIntyre confirms there is a cold front forecast to come through the South Thompson region Monday.

“There will be some rain in it and the wind will shift. It should help,” McIntrye says.

Smoke from the China Nose forest fire is combining with smoke from the other blazes in the north to create smoky conditions in Kamloops.
Smoke from the China Nose forest fire is combining with smoke from the other blazes in the north to create smoky conditions in Kamloops.
Image Credit: B.C Wildfire Management

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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