Cool, wet weather may not be much help with Thompson-Okanagan wildfires | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Cool, wet weather may not be much help with Thompson-Okanagan wildfires

The White Rock Lake wildfire is seen in this Aug. 14, 2021 photo.
Image Credit: TWITTER/BC Wildfire Service
August 16, 2021 - 2:30 PM

The heat of the past few weeks has broken in the Okanagan and Kamloops areas.

“We are into a bit of a more seasonal air mass for today and Tuesday” Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson told iNFonews.ca today, Aug. 16.

“It’s also unsettled so we are looking at some shower activity and the possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon and again overnight and into Tuesday. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of accumulation expected from these showers, at least, not anything that is going to make a real dent in the forest fire situation.”

There may be a few millimetres of rain from showers in certain locations. That could be as much as 10 mm where thunderstorms hit.

But with thunderstorms come lightening, which can hit as much as 15 to 17 kilometres away from the showers, leaving the distinct possibility that more wildfires could be ignited.

The wind that came from the southwest overnight will shift and come from the northwest later today.

Earlier today, fire officials said that will create a mixed bag for firefighting needs. In some cases, a flank of the fire may blow back in on itself, easing the danger. At the same time, that wind may cause another flank of the fire to flare up.

READ MORE: Dozens of structures damaged by wildfires along Westside Road: emergency officials

Despite the increased wind, fire officials say it’s unlikely that hot embers from the White Rock Lake wildfire burning on the west side of Okanagan Lake will be carried across the lake into Vernon.

Coulson said the weather should settle down later in the week with less wind and more clouds.

Highs in Kamloops are forecast to only peak at 29 on Wednesday before dropping to the low 20s by Sunday.

Okanagan temperatures are forecast to hit 26 on Wednesday and Thursday before also dropping into the low 20s on the weekend.

The good news for firefighters is that a Pacific system is expected to move into the region on the weekend, bringing rain with it. It’s too early to predict how significant that rainfall will be, Coulson said.

“That may not be the best for the tourist season but I think even they would agree that any relief provided to the overall wildfire situation is certainly the top priority,” he said.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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