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More rainfall doesn't mean lower risk of wildfires: Officials

July 05, 2016 - 2:30 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - It's been a rainier July than we are used to in the Thompson-Okanagan, but Kamloops Fire Centre is warning people to still be cautious.

Fire information officer Rachel Witt says the "June Rains" are running a bit late in the region this year, and are having an impact on the forecast for this year's wildfire season.

When there is heavy rainfall in a region, the risk of human-caused wildfires is generally decreased. But Witt says with precipitation can come lightning, which poses its own threat.

"Even though we see a lot of rainfall, we forget that lightning can be associated with that," Witt says.

There are several different elements officials look at when determining wildfire risks, including how much it rained, how long it rained for and where it rained.

Witt says even though it may seem safe to the public to have an open fire because of recent rains, the risks are more than surface level, and people are still prohibited from having open flames bigger than a campfire.

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