Burning ban on the way as wildfires rage just south of the border | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Burning ban on the way as wildfires rage just south of the border

Wildfires resulting in evacuations are now burning in the U.S. just south of the Osoyoos border crossing, a sign of things to come if the current dry, hot weather pattern continues.
July 28, 2020 - 1:22 PM

This week’s overheated forecast is bringing the wildfire risk ever closer to the Thompson – Okanagan.

B.C. Wildfire information officer Kyla Fraser says a category two and three fire ban will take effect in the Kamloops Fire Centre, effective noon tomorrow, July 29.

Fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets and burn barrels will also be banned throughout the fire centre.

Campfires are still permitted unless subject to local government restrictions.

South of the Okanagan border, a public alert issued yesterday for Okanogan County in Washington warns of a fast moving fire burning near State Road 20 near Tonasket, around 40 kilometres south of Osoyoos that has resulted in evacuations as that fire spreads to the north.

Another wildfire estimated at 700 acres broke out along Tunk Creek Road northeast of Omak, around 77 kilometres south of Osoyoos yesterday, July 27.

Fraser says the American wildfires could be a harbinger of things to come, especially in the southern part of the Okanagan valley as the recent hot, dry weather has pushed the fire danger rating to high in many parts of the Kamloops Fire Centre.

“We do have a real fire risk in the area at the moment. Fortunately we haven’t seen too much other than a few little fires here and there,” she says.

Fraser cautions, however, with a long weekend coming up people need to be mindful that fuels are drying out and there is a real fire risk in the area.

“People really need to be careful to ensure we aren’t causing any unnecessary, human-caused wildfires,” she says.

The fire danger rating is high for most of the Kamloops Fire Centre, with Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kamloops and up to Clearwater in the moderate range, with patches of low.

‘With this dry weather in the high 30s Celsius forecast to continue through the week, we can expect things to dry out further,” she says.

Environment Canada says temperatures in the Thompson and Okanagan Valleys are expected to remain in the 30s Celsius through the weekend, with the daily high dropping to 29 C by Monday.

There is a 60 per cent chance of showers in the Kamloops area on Friday.


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