More smoke may be visible from the McDougall Creek wildfire this weekend as temperatures rise, humidity decreases and winds speed increase.
In an update Saturday morning, the BC Wildfire Service says fire crews continue to work to contain the large wildfire burning above West Kelowna.
“Crews will continue to work on mop-up objectives, patrols and extinguishing of hotspots that have been identified through infrared scanning,” the BCWS says. “Personnel will continue demobilization of non-essential equipment.”
Temperatures are forecast to reach the high 20s Saturday, while gusts of wind are expected to reach up to 30 km/h.
“There may be increased smoke visible from within the fire perimeter today and over the weekend due to warmer temperatures, decreased relative humidity and increased wind activity,” the BCWS says.
“This increase in smoke is due to the fire's movement into areas that were previously unburnt. This burning of fuel is within the fire perimeter and is not additional growth. Smoke from within the perimeter of a wildfire is common and expected.”
But the BCWS says if smoke is seen outside of the fire area, contact the BCWS at *5555 or 1-800-663-5555.
A 10-hectare aerial ignition in the Hidden Creek area that's been planned for the past week still hasn't been conducted due to unfavourable conditions. But the BCWS now says it may be conducted next week if the weather cooperates.
The region could see light rain come Monday.
There remains 149 BCWS firefighters on the fire, along with 25 pieces of heavy equipment and six helicopters.
After some evacuation orders were lifted Friday, 77 properties remain under order due to the fire. The area restriction around the fire was reduced Friday. A map of the new restricted area can be found here.