Moderate fire risk but Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park still closed to traffic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Moderate fire risk but Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park still closed to traffic

Visitors enjoy the first lookout in Knox Mountain Park. Continued good weather means the park will open to vehicle access ahead of schedule.

KELOWNA - The fire danger rating is moderate but the road to the top of Knox Mountain Park will remain closed for a bit longer.

A wildfire near the top August 9 closed the road and citing fire risk, city parks staff decided to keep the top half of the road closed subject to periodic review.

Urban forestry supervisor Blair Stuart said the conditions seem right to reopen the road but he’s just back from vacation and wants to talk to other staff first.

“With the weather, it’s possible but I want a staff review,” Stuart said. “I think the weather is looking favourable but we’ll see.”

The forecast is for cooler, cloudy weather in the next week, including a chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday.

Kelowna residents are used to the routine closing of the Knox Mountain Park road during summer when the 310-hectare park can become tinder dry.

Kelowna’s premier wilderness park fronts on 1,400 metres of Okanagan Lake, rising 300 metres to the summit of Knox Mountain.

It has its own body of water, Kathleen Lake, on the east side of the park and is habitat to a variety of plants and animals.

Vehicle counters on the road show 400 vehicles a day climb to the first look out and half of those venture further up to the top.

Knox Mountain Park has had extensive fuel load mitigation over the last decade with the removal of thousands of trees but even annual maintenance on top of that doesn’t remove the fire risk, staff say.

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