White Rock Lake wildfire activity expected to ‘bounce back’ with extreme drought conditions | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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White Rock Lake wildfire activity expected to ‘bounce back’ with extreme drought conditions

The White Rock Lake wildfire, Aug. 12, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Elizabeth Mo
August 22, 2021 - 8:58 AM

Wildfire crews battling a fire in the Central Okanagan have seen decreased fire activity within the last few days but that will be temporary with current drought conditions.

Shannon Street, information officer with the B.C. wildfire Service, said last night crews saw a decrease in wildfire behaviour on parts of the fire, including in the Westside Road area, due to precipitation compared to the previous night.

“With the drought codes that we’ve seen throughout the entire summer though we are expecting to see things bounce back relatively quickly. That precipitation did give us a reprieve for a 24-hour period but it is drying out again,” she said.

The Okanagan Valley is currently in a Stage 4 drought. Droughts are measured as part of a six-point scale that goes from zero to five. As the second worst level of drought, the province says it’s extremely dry and “adverse impacts to socio-economic or ecosystem values (are) likely.”

READ MORE: Okanagan drought killing fish and exposing need for major water management change

The wildfire will gradually bounce back throughout the day. Crews are continuing the same objectives they’ve been focusing on for the last several days, Street said.

Some structure protection units have been demobilizing in areas with a reduced risk and moving to areas with increased risk, she said.

The protection crews are focusing on the northern part of Westside Road and on the northern section of Okanagan Indian Band IR #1, Street said, noting there are still structure protection units on other areas of the fire.

The wildfire is still classified as out of control at 80,745 hectares, a slight decrease from yesterday’s size since the wildfire service has been able to get a better map of the fire, she said.

Multiple evacuation orders and alerts remain in place due to the wildfire.

For more information on evacuation orders and alerts visit the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, Regional District of North Okanagan, Thompson Nicola Regional District, Splatsin, Okanagan Indian Band, Regional District of Central Okanagan, City of Vernon or the Township of Spallumcheen's websites.

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