British Columbia

Rainy conditions in Okanagan help fight wildfires, but flood risk remains

A wildfire evacuation alert has been lifted for Lumby, while Lake Okanagan's water levels continue to rise.

A wildfire evacuation alert has been lifted for Lumby, while Lake Okanagan's water levels continue to rise

Windy conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday caused localized flooding along the shores of Lake Okanagan. (City of Kelowna)

Damp conditions in the Okanagan are helping efforts to combat wildfires, but increasing the risk of flooding in areas that have now been on edge for weeks. 

If the rising levels of Okanagan Lake remain consistent, the lake could creep within one or two centimetres of a flood stage it hasn't reached in nearly 70 years.

Owners of low-lying properties have been laying sandbags for several days in preparation for expected flooding and the Central Okanagan Regional District said high winds Tuesday and Wednesday caused localized flooding.

The winds also damaged or broke up docks on many lakes through the central Okanagan, flushing even more debris into the waterways.

Marinas and docks that were especially hard hit include those on Kamloops and Kalamalka lakes, as well as on Okanagan Lake.

Wildfire evacuation alert lifted 

Rain has helped wildfire crews fully contain a blaze that prompted the Regional District of North Okanagan to issue an evacuation alert for about 30 homes near Lumby.

That alert has been lifted, but officials are still trying to determine what sparked the small but aggressive Cooper Mountain fire on Tuesday.

In the Prince George fire district, the B-C Wildfire Service says a blaze burning just west of Mount Robson Provincial Park has scorched two square kilometres of trees and bush.

No homes are threatened but the human-caused fire remains uncontained and more than 50 firefighters are working to bring it under control.

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