Winds have peaked in Penticton, expected to taper off soon: Environment Canada | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Winds have peaked in Penticton, expected to taper off soon: Environment Canada

The Christie Mountain wildfire taken this morning, Aug. 21.
August 21, 2020 - 3:26 PM

An Environment Canada meteorologist says the southern winds blowing northward in Penticton should taper off in the next hour or so.

At Penticton’s airport, winds are reaching between 40 to 70 km/hr, Doug Lundquist says.

“The winds are about as high as they’re going to be right now,” he said. “It‘ll gradually start to decrease in the late afternoon, evening.”

Tomorrow’s winds will blow northward at about 20 km/hr, he said.

In a press conference today, B.C. Wildfire information officer Nicole Bonnett said the fire activity up until the afternoon has been a rank 1, so mostly smoke and few flames. B.C. Wildfire and local fire departments are closely watching the direction and velocity of the winds this afternoon, should they blow the Christie Mountain wildfire towards Penticton.

Currently, the fire is listed at 2,000 hectares is size. Is it located roughly six km north of Okanagan Falls on the east side of Skaha Lake.

READ MORE: How firefighters are trying to protect Penticton homes against looming Christie Mountain fire

Bonnett said if the winds die down tonight, “we’ll be pretty happy with that, however this is still a new incident… fire can be unpredictable.”

Environment Canada is also reporting a 60 per cent chance of shows with a risk of a thunderstorm today in the city. There's already been plenty of rain in other parts of the Okanagan.

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson said during the conference that the biggest concern for firefighters would be drifting embers that can create spot fires in neighbourhoods.

READ MORE: Embers biggest concern for firefighters in upper east side of Penticton


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