More lightning worries

Alanna Kelly

Firefighters are being given electrolytes as they work in 40-degree heat fighting wildfires in the Okanagan.

The BC Wildfire Service says the temperature on the rocks in Okanagan Mountain Park has been 42 C the last three days.

“Pretty extreme heat for that type of physical work,” said operation chief Jeff Austin.

Austin said fire crews are being given electrolytes as well as water to make sure they stay hydrated.

Good progress has been made on the Okanagan complex fires, according to officials.

Tired crews are being swapped for fresh crews on Wednesday.

Officials are gradually reducing the number of firefighters on site "because we have a huge provincial need now, a lot more fires in the last couple of days,” said Austin.

A heat warning remains in effect for the Okanagan, but Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Erven says relief is coming soon.

“Our ridge of high pressure is going to move off to the east beginning on Wednesday,” she said.

Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 30s by Wednesday and back to seasonal norms in the high 20s by Friday.

“We do have some relief in terms of temperatures,” said Erven. “We are looking at a return of afternoon showers, but also the return of a risk of thunderstorms.”

Conditions are ripe for thunderstorm development with heat trapped near the surface and a cool trough moving over top. 

“Should bring us a little relief, maybe even as much as 10 degrees, which is going to be huge over there,” said Austin.

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