Scattered rainfall not expected to make long-term impact on 2 large South Okanagan fires

Fires dampened, for now

UPDATE: 7 p.m.

According to BC Wildfire, the Kamloops Fire Centre saw some much-needed rain Sunday afternoon although it came in small amounts.

"It does offer a bit of reprieve when it comes to fire behaviour. It raises the humidity in the area and that will often lead to reduced fire behaviour whereas before we might have been seeing an extremely vigorous surface fire heading up into the trees and now it will be a little more of ground fire," said fire information officer Kayla Fraser.

"A little rain will moisten the fuels on top, but we need a lot more so it will go into the deeper levels of the dirt," she added.

ORIGINAL: 6:05 p.m.

The weather gave crews fighting two massive wildfires in the South Okanagan a small reprieve on Sunday, but it is not expected enough rain will fall to make much of a difference on the fire front in the long term.

“Some light showers occurred in the overnight period, which have continued today with scattered precipitation, higher minimum relative humidity, and a slight dip in temperature,” BCWS said in updates on both the Nk’Mip Creek and Thomas Creek wildfires.

“The slight reprieve in weather may temper fire behaviour, but is not expected to significantly affect the overall fire danger ratings.”

Nk’Mip Creek wildfire

Crews battling the large blaze east of Oliver and Osoyoos were focused Sunday on building fire guards in the proximity of the Mount Baldy Ski Resort.

Heavy equipment is on site constructing and reinforcing guards to the southeast of the ski hill.

The wildfire has grown to 15,000 hectares, according to new mapping published by the BC Wildfire Service.

Crews on Sunday were also patrolling and mopping up around residential areas near McKinney Rd, Nk'Mip Rd and Shrike Hill, burning off any unburnt fuel, reinforcing existing guards and extinguishing hotspots.

Tactical structural protection remains deployed in impacted areas.

Crews on the south flank of the fire are continuing to mop up and patrol near the Anarchist Mountain community.

Upwards of 250 people are involved in the fight against Nk’Mip Creek.

Thomas Creek wildfire

The 10,250-hectares Thomas Creek wildfire east of Okanagan Falls continues to grow north in the Derenzy and McLean Clan Lake area.

“Helicopters are continuing to deliver water along the north flank to ensure the fire does not spread into the drainage north of Christie Mountain,” BCWS said.

Ground crews are also attempting suppression efforts on the south flank when it is safe to do so.

“Yesterday, crews continued to make good progress along the south guard and will continue to look for opportunities to complete additional small hand ignitions along these guards,” BCWS said.

Heavy machinery is working to establish containment lines in the southeast corner of the fire to support crew progress along the south flank.

There are now 27 firefighters, 34 soldiers, eight danger tree fallers, six helicopters, 25 pieces of heavy equipment and support and logistics teams assigned to the fire.

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