Above-average temperatures could increase fall fire activity in Okanagan

11 Sep 2023 | Canada | 203 |
Above-average temperatures could increase fall fire activity in Okanagan

With fall just one week away, temperatures in the Okanagan are feeling more like the middle of summer, causing a spike in fire activity.

“With this weather, we’re seeing an increase in activity in a majority of fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre,” said Fire Information Officer, Shaelee Stearns.

“A lot of this activity is happening within the fire perimeter on some of our larger incidents, specifically incidents with ‘being held’ or ‘under control’ status.”

Since the increased fire activity is within the perimeter it’s not expected to spread beyond that.

“Planned ignitions will be used on incidents to secure the perimeter around the fire,” said Stearns.

“When there are pockets of unburnt fuel well within the fire perimeter, those fuels will be left to burn on their own as that fuel is removed, it’s well within the black so there’s not likely a chance it will spread beyond those predetermined or established boundaries.”

Planned ignitions are continuing on the McDougall Creek wildfire to remove any unburnt fuels and bring the fire closer to containment lines.

“On September 9 crews conducted a small-scale planned ignition to remove unburnt fuel, there is no planned ignition today, September 10,” said Evan Lizotte, Grouse Complex Fire Information Officer.

“Crews will remain on site to mop up any hot spots and secure containment lines.”

The above-average temperatures are forecast to stay for at least the next week.

“A ridge of high-pressure building in place over the weekend and temperatures into the upper 20’s, we’re five degrees above the average for this time of year and it continues to be warm and sunny into early next week,” said Global Meteorologist Yvonne Schalle.

The BC Wildfire Service says billowing smoke can be a concern depending on where it’s burning.

“If you are seeing fire burning well within the perimeter so around black trees that are already burnt, that’s typically not of concern but if you see fire start to increase in pockets of green beyond that fire perimeter it’s still beneficial to send those reports in,” said Stearns.

Since April there were a total of 192,185 hectares burned in the Kamloops Fire Centre compared to 2022 with 24,566 hectares burned.

by Global News