Heavy rain aids in tempering wildfires burning in B.C.’s Southern Interior

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfires: Rain provides some relief in Shuswap region'
B.C. wildfires: Rain provides some relief in Shuswap region
Light rain has is providing some relief to crews battling the Bush Creek East fire in the Shuswap region. It comes as officials offer more supports for members of neighbouring communities while emphasizing the importance of returning evacuees to their homes. Troy Charles reports – Aug 23, 2023

Firefighters in British Columbia’s southern Interior continue to battle a number of major blazes, having been aided by ample rain that fell Wednesday over the Okanagan and Shuswap regions.

BC Wildfire Service information officer Forrest Tower says one weather station near the eastern edge of the Bush Creek East wildfire near Chase received about 20 millimetres of rain in the last day.

Tower says varying amounts of rainfall were also recorded on the wildfire’s western edge, which reached more than 15 millimetres, leading to a widespread diminishing of fire behaviour.

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Environment Canada had issued a severe thunderstorm watch late Tuesday for the Shuswap region — one of the hardest-hit fire zones — with Salmon Arm recording 12 millimetres of rain on that day, the biggest single-day total all year.

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Firefighters fighting the McDougall Creek wildfire near Kelowna report similar trends of heavy rain helping crews control the blazes, which have forced more than 25,000 people to evacuate from their homes across B.C.

Tower says the Bush Creek East fire in the Shuswap region remains the province’s top priority wildfire, and up to 150 more firefighters were scheduled to arrive on-site Wednesday and today to further contain the blaze.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2023.

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