Hot, dry weather in recent days has pushed the fire danger to high for major population centres in the Thompson Okanagan.
The BC Wildfire Service has increased the danger rating for Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops, as well as Lake Country. The rating is also high for Merritt. Penticton is currently in the moderate risk zone.
“Typically the fire danger rating is higher, especially in lower elevations and valley bottoms, which both Vernon and Kelowna fall in those low elevation areas,” explained fire information office Aydan Coray.
The danger rating is still low to moderate in most other parts of the Kamloops Fire Centre, but there are other pockets of high risk near Lytton and Clearwater. With temperatures expected to push into the 30s by the weekend, the danger will likely continue to climb.
“We are seeing continued warming trends and dry conditions throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. We don’t anticipate precipitation for the next weekend period and the next week. So, we will see that continue for the next few days,” said Coray.
She adds that crews are on standby at all BCWS bases in the region, including Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Penticton, Merritt, Princeton, Lillooet and Lytton.
There is currently no campfire ban in the Kamloops Fire Centre, but Coray says to check with the local municipality before you light one up, because they might have their own restrictions. Backyard fires are banned in Kelowna, Kamloops, and Penticton.