People most at risk from the Keremeos Creek wildfire were given the go-ahead to return home earlier in the week but that doesn’t mean the blaze is under control.
The 6,905-hectare fire burning 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton is still considered active and in their latest update BC Wildfire officials said there’s been more visible smoke in the last couple of days, and that will continue to be the case for as long as the hot, dry weather persists.
Smoke appearing from well within the fire perimeter is common, they said. However, smoke that rises from green, unburned fuel or from outside of the fire’s perimeter should be reported.
“Increased fire behaviour, continues today, Aug. 18, in the northwest and southwest corners of the fire due to higher temperatures and lower humidity,” BC Wildfire said in its last update.
A strong ridge of high pressure will bring a short-lived heat wave to B.C. in the next couple of days, with high temperatures of 35 to 40 C expected in the Okanagan, Environment Canada said in a heat warning sent out Thursday.
The forecast also calls for isolated thunderstorms with dry lightning possible Friday through Saturday, with a warming trend continuing Saturday.
BC Wildfire added that crews continue to make good progress on containment lines, but structure protection has been significantly downgraded as personnel continue cleaning up and removing structure protection.
Weather, however, may get worse, challenging ongoing efforts.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.