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Dramatic decrease in Okanagan wildfires compared to last year

Click to play video: 'Okanagan sees a significant improvement in fire conditions' Okanagan sees a significant improvement in fire conditions
Okanagan sees a significant improvement in fire conditions – Jul 1, 2022

As the heat started to build in the Okanagan, the province issued a Category 3 open fire ban for the Kamloops Fire Centre. However, the B.C. Wildfire Service says there are significantly better weather conditions this year with more rain and cooler temperatures, compared to last year’s heat dome.

“But with the fire danger rating…with it being low to very low in a lot of places, I think we’ve seen very minimal fire activity over the last sort of week here,” said Nicole Bonnett, Kamloops Fire Centre Fire Information Officer.

“And we really only have one fire that’s up on the board, and it’s under control.”

Read more: Open fire restrictions roll out across B.C.’s Southern Interior

To date, the KFC has seen 63 fires for a total of 100 hectares burned. Last year at this time 41,856 hectares were burned by 151 wildfires.

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By the end of the 2021 fire season, the Kamloops Fire Centre was hit with 456 wildfires burning a total of 497,495 hectares in the region.

Overall, there were 1,610 fires in B.C. last year, with 868,203 hectares burned.

Read more: Wildfire-fighting all-terrain prototype arrives in North Okanagan

“Things are greener. There’s a lot more moisture in the ground which is a good thing,” said Bonnett.

“But that does mean things grow faster, so you do just want to be mindful. As the vegetation dies, if it’s in your yard and around your property, you just want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on that and removing any of the dead vegetation so what does dry up and die doesn’t create an accumulated fuel load.”

Campfires are still permitted but BC Wildfire reminds residents to be prepared with proper tools and water.

Click to play video: 'UBC Okanagan research could help target wildfire mitigation' UBC Okanagan research could help target wildfire mitigation
UBC Okanagan research could help target wildfire mitigation – May 20, 2022

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