Fire officials concerned wind will blow 'ember showers' through North Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fire officials concerned wind will blow 'ember showers' through North Okanagan

B.C. Wildfire is particularly concerned about the area to the north-northeast of the White Rock Lake fire here, where ember showers could cause significant problems.
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August 14, 2021 - 3:31 PM

A cold front bringing strong winds through the Thompson-Okanagan area tonight or tomorrow has fire officials on the White Rock lake fire concerned about the potential for ‘ember showers’ in the North Okanagan that could complicate efforts.

Forrest Tower with B.C. Wildfire Service said today they aren’t entirely sure which way the winds will blow but they are expecting, planning and preparing for a North-Northeast wind.

“Always the concern when we have a significant wind event is there could be an ember shower over the communities here which really provides a challenge for structure protection crews that are in the area and patrolling in terms of putting out the amount of spot fires that can occur when you have an ember shower, it’s obviously quite challenging.”

The changing weather is expected to bring 30 km/h winds with gusts up to 50 to 60 km/h.

Thanks to forecasting, they’ve been able to anticipate where fire growth may occur with this sudden change of weather, which should also clear some of the thick smoke from the area. On nearly every fire in the area, they have been concentrating guards on northern and northeast flanks, with particular attention to White Rock Lake.

If winds come as expected, it threatens to push the fire further towards the Okanagan Indian Band and in the direction of Spallumcheen and Armstrong.

They are also prepared to adjust their efforts if the winds come in a different direction.

"With this significant wind event, it's really hard to nail down at this point what exact direction that wind will pass through in so we will have resources able to move around and structure protection set up to be where we expect the threat to be,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Tremont Creek wildfire remains six kilometres from Logan Lake, but has damaged B.C. Hydro lines impacting the Emergency Operations Centre there. B.C. Hydro is planning an outage tomorrow between 10 a.m. and noon to repair the lines. That outage will impact Monte Lake, Westwold and into Barnhartvale.

The same fire is also threatening structures in the Tunkwa Lake area, where they are focussing on structure protection.

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