Smoke blowing into the Okanagan

No new fires in the Kelowna area but winds are bringing smoke up from the US and Diamond Creek fire

The fire rating in the Okanagan remains high to extreme, but there have been no new reports of forest fires in the region.

Smoke in the Okanagan is arriving due to winds out of the south-west, which is bringing smoke into the Okanagan Valley from the large Diamond Creek fire as well as other fires burning in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA.

The Diamond Creek fire continues to burn on both sides of the border, with the Canadian side estimated at 10,466 hectares. There are many more fires burning in the USA that are bringing smoke into the region, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

“There is still smoke coming off of Mount Acland (Finlay Creek fire) but that’s not what residents are seeing today,” said fire information officer Rachel Witt. “Wind is out of the south-west so smoke from fires in the States as well as the Diamond Creek fire is drifting up through into the Okanagan Valley.”

The Diamond Creek fire is burning in alpine forests and assessments indicate there is no threat to public safety and there is a limited threat to structural values at this time. It is approximately 40 kilometres south of Princeton and 35 km southwest of Keremeos. US officials say it was human-caused.

In the Okanagan region, the fire rating is high and in the Osoyoos area it is extreme, however there is expected to be some precipitation coming to the area.

“We are hoping there will be up to 5 millimetres of precipitation tomorrow that will lower the fire rating,” said Witt.

The Finlay Creek fire is considered 100 per cent contained.