Kelowna, Lake Country, Vernon and Penticton are experiencing exceptional drought conditions, an event that statistically happens once every 50 years.
The lack of precipitation and extreme temperatures in the area have been exacerbated by the heat wave in July, resulting in the formation of exceptional drought. The drought has also resulted in a record number of wildfires, threatening communities and caused substantial evacuations of both human and livestock populations. Loss of grazing land and structures have also resulted from the drought, affecting livestock populations in the region.
Drought conditions in the rest of the Southern Interior increased in severity throughout July due to extremely low precipitation compared to normal, according to Agriculture Canada. Some areas have received only 25 to 50 per cent of normal precipitation in the past 90 days in the region. The Thompson-Okanagan and Cariboo regions are currently experiencing extreme drought.
“Fruit, grain and oilseed production, as well as forages and livestock health, have been significantly impacted by drought conditions and extreme heat,” said Agriculture Canada.