B.C.’s fire danger rating high to extreme as Kamloops takes extra precautions


The fire danger remains high, if not extreme, across B.C. for the long weekend.

The Kamloops Fire Centre is seeing temperatures in the mid-30s, with low humidity and temperatures remaining high overnight.

Taylor Wallace with the BC Wildfire Service said Saturday that the fire danger rating across the region is high with some areas classified as extreme.

“Given the conditions going into this weekend we are keeping an eye on the entire fire centre,” she said. “It’s all an area of concern for us but we are anticipating a risk of potential lightning to hit a portion of the southern Okanagan as well as some areas west of the Fraser Canyon.”

Wallace said this dry lightning could ignite more fires.

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Click to play video: 'Worry about heat and drought conditions in Kamloops'

Worry about heat and drought conditions in Kamloops

The Lower East Adams Lake wildfire in B.C.’s Southern Interior continues to be a priority for crews, Wallace added.

That fire is now estimated to be 4,823 hectares in size.

The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District issued an evacuation order for 92 properties on Rawson Road, along Adams Lake, north of Chase.

The regional district also issued an evacuation alert for the Northern Reach of Tsutswecw Provincial Park. There are no residences in this area.

Nearly 4,000 personnel are currently engaged in wildfire response across B.C., according to the province. This includes personnel from the BC Wildfire Service, B.C. contract crews, the United States, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ontario, the Canadian Armed Forces and other support personnel.

There are currently 2,748 properties under evacuation alert and 683 properties under evacuation order.

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Click to play video: 'Challenging week for B.C. wildfire crews'

Challenging week for B.C. wildfire crews

In the Kamloops region, due to the hot and dry conditions, nine of the nature parks in and around the city have been closed to keep the fire danger rating low.

“The only time I can remember our nature parks being closed was during COVID for a little bit,” Kamloops councillor and deputy mayor Bill Sarai told Global News Saturday.

“I have been told they have been closed in the past for something like this but we haven’t seen a dry condition lasting this long and no rain forecast in the very near future.”

In addition, Sarai said that as of Aug. 14, the city will be implementing enhanced water restrictions and enforcement to reduce city-wide water use.

This includes a ban on outdoor watering and irrigating, with the exception of hand-held, spring-loaded nozzles. Irrigating by use of sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems is not permitted. Washing of vehicles and boats will only be permitted at commercial wash locations unless washing for safety purposes. Pressure washing for aesthetic purposes will not be permitted.

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However, irrigation of playing fields and public spaces will continue for now in order to prevent severe damage or loss of public assets and spaces, the city said in a release.

There are 356 wildfires burning around B.C. with 12 being wildfires of note.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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