Firefighters working to contain an out-of-control wildfire in the Shuswap region may be hoping for rain on Tuesday, but they’re not holding their breath for it.
“We never count on the rain,” BC Wildfire Service information officer Mike McCulley told Global News.
“We always plan on not having it and making sure that our staff and crews are safe no matter what, but we will be keen to see some rain in the gauge.”
The Bush Creek East wildfire is burning steadily on both sides of the Adams and Shuswap lakes at a size of about 43,000 hectares.
Civilians are now assisting in the firefight, paid by the BC Wildfire Service.
“The fact of the matter is, we’re a long ways from the end of fire season yet,” McCulley said.
“We know we have hot conditions again today — it’s going to be a little bit windy and dry, so you know, we will be on high alert.”
Large portions of northeastern British Columbia are still sweltering Tuesday, after some areas hit daily record temperatures on Monday.
Environment Canada says temperatures will again push near or past 30 C in parts of the Peace River Regional District and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.
The heat warning is expected to be in place until Tuesday evening.
Historic records for daily high temperatures for Aug. 28 were broken Monday in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson.
Fort Nelson reached 33.9 C, almost six degrees higher than the previous record for that day recorded in 1986.
The BC Wildfire Service has cautioned that warm, dry conditions in northern parts of the province have led to increased fire activity in the region, with the Fort Nelson First Nation putting two reserves on alert.
“One of the risks we’re really watching for — our trees that blow down in the wind,” McCulley said.
“Once our fire goes through, it compromises the root systems of the trees, and I can’t understate how dangerous that work can be.”
Temperatures in Salmon Arm and Kelowna both breached 30 C Tuesday with no precipitation recorded.
As of Tuesday morning, 396 wildfires were burning throughout B.C., including 12 “wildfires of note,” meaning they’re highly visible or pose a threat to public safety.
— with files from The Canadian Press
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