July 18, 2014 6:14 pm
Updated: July 18, 2014 6:48 pm

Rain this weekend will help some wildfires, but strong winds may hurt others

A fire in Harrison Hot Springs on Thursday.

Weather Window

VANCOUVER – There is some relief on the way for residents and firefighters around the province.

While most of B.C. has been enjoying the hot temperatures lately, the hot and dry conditions has led to 163 fires burning in B.C. today. There are 17 fires of note.

A much needed change is on the way for many areas of the province however.

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READ MORE: B.C. under evacuation alerts and orders due to wildfires

Global BC weather anchor Kate Gajdosik says this change will affect the regions severely affected by wildfire activity.

The first in a series of weather disturbances has already moved into Northern B.C., spreading heavy rain along the coast and showers through the Central Interior.

Through the weekend the chance for showers will move into the Southern Interior, although heavy downpours are not expected.

PHOTOS: Wildfires burning across B.C.

For the Okanagan Valley, where some of the province’s most aggressive fires are burning, there will not be significant rainfall to help fight the fires. The biggest factor in this region will be wind, which could force the spread of smoke and flames.

Gajdosik says southwesterly winds are expected to get strong and gusty through Friday afternoon and evening, with winds gusting upwards of 40 km/hr. Wind is a powerful and often unpredictable weather process, adds Gajdosik, as sometimes a slight breeze is enough to fan the flames of an out of control wildfire.

Temperatures on Friday will remain at about 28 and 29 degrees in the Okanagan and while it will cool down over the weekend, the wind from the southwest will be quite dry.

In Prince George Friday morning the smoke was so thick from nearby fires that the street lamps had to be lit again. The smoke is from the Chelaslie Fire near Tetachuk Lake, which was very active on Thursday and residents of Prince George were seeing those effects the next day. The smoke is mixed in with a rain system, bringing the first serious rain to the area for a couple of weeks.

 

 

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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