The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) says abnormally strong winds in parts of the Okanagan have contributed to rapid wildfire growth.
Winds picked up last night (Sep.6 ) and are expected to continue today. BCWS did not specify which fires may have seen growth, but noted high winds can contribute to extreme fire behaviour and make conditions for crews challenging.
Several blazes in the Okanagan are being held or are under control. The Blue Mountain wildfire on the Penticton Indian Band is being held at 54 hectares after it was first reported on Friday. The Keremeos Creek fire, southwest of Penticton, is being held at 7,000 hectares. The Skaha Creek blaze south of Penticton is also being held.
The Richter Mountain fire, near the US border west of Osoyoos, is estimated at 79 hectares but is under control. A small wildfire burning in Okanagan Mountain Park (near Good Knoll) is under control, and another small wildfire near Lumby (Spider Creek) is under control as well.
Environment Canada has issued special air quality statements stretching from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos due to smoke from wildfires, including those burning in Washington State and Idaho in the US.
Temperatures for the Okanagan and Shuswap will range from 26 C to 28 C over the coming days.