The July Mountain wildfire burns along the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt, B.C., on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The July Mountain wildfire burns along the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt, B.C., on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

High temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds cause challenging B.C. fire activity

Wildfire service is preparing for more activity on some of the nearly 270 wildfires burning

The BC Wildfire Information Service says high temperatures, low humidity and an increase in winds are making wildfire conditions challenging in southern British Columbia.

Fire information officer Erika Berg says heat and gusty winds are raising concern across the Kamloops and southern Cariboo regions.

She says while fires are usually at their peak during the midday heat, relatively high nighttime temperatures combined with low humidity are also hindering efforts to calm the blazes after sunset.

Berg says cooler temperatures are expected by Sunday, but strong wind gusts are also forecast, along with a risk of dry lightning.

She says the wildfire service is preparing for more activity on some of the nearly 270 wildfires currently burning, along with the likelihood of new fires starts. .

Thirty fires are ranked as threatening or highly visible, including the 580-square-kilometre White Rock Lake wildfire between Kamloops and Vernon.

Aggressive growth has already destroyed homes and businesses in Monte Lake, Westwold and Bouleau Lake and flames are now challenging crews working to protect properties on the flank of the blaze nearest the northwest shore of Okanagan Lake.

The province says more than 6,500 square kilometres has been burned since the start of the wildfire season on April 1.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Catastrophic White Rock Lake wildfire will grow: incident commander

B.C. Wildfires 2021