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Weekend weather concern for crews battling Central Okanagan wildfires

‘We are expecting to see an increase in fire behaviour’
Peachland resident Vera Darius took this photo of the McDougall Creek wildfire on Aug. 17, 2023 as it flared up over West Kelowna. (Facebook)

Weather over the next few days is expected to cause challenges for crews battling wildfires in the Central Okanagan.

“Climbing temperatures and lower relative humidity moving towards the weekend, we are expecting to see an increase in fire behaviour in the Grouse Complex fires”, said Brian Litke, senior wildfire officer with the BC Wildfire Service.

The Grouse Complex includes the McDougall Creek fire in West Kelowna, the Walroy Lake fire in Kelowna, and the Clarke Creek fire in Lake Country.

“The McDougall Creek fire is currently out of control at 12,318 hectares, and the cause is still under investigation,” added Litke.

Overnight crews patrolled from Shannon Heights to Bartley Road and pushed west to support a heavy equipment line being installed above Smith Creek.

Litke added that significant progress was made on the Walroy Lake (794 hectares) and Clarke Creek (370 hectares) fires as they were both were deemed ‘held’ on Thursday morning.

Crews have begun demobilizing structural protection equipment in both communities.

There are 211 wildland firefighters battling the Grouse Complex fires, along with 176 structural firefighters, 25 other operational members, 17 aircraft, and 34 pieces of heavy equipment.

READ MORE: Feelings of elation as Walroy Lake wildfire held, Kelowna evacuees to return home

READ MORE: 13 Wilson’s Landing firefighters lose their homes to McDougall Creek wildfire


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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