A small wildfire north of West Kelowna is now being held.
The blaze was found just after 7 p.m. on Thursday night (May 18) from a lightning strike. It was 2.5 kilometres away from Bear Lane Forest Service Road.
When a forest fire is being held, that means it’s not likely to spread under its current conditions. On BC Wildfire Service’s website, it states the fire is zero hectares in size, meaning the blaze was smaller than 0.1 hectares.
Scattered thunderstorms hit the Central and Southern Okanagan on Thursday night. Despite rain from the storms, the recent hot weather and lightning can cause wildfires while high winds can spread the blaze. The fire danger rating in Kelowna is currently 4/5, which means there’s a ‘high danger’ chance of fires starting.
Scattered thunderstorms are forecast across the Central & Southern Interior today along with moderate winds and occasional gusts up to 60 km/hr. The amount of rainfall accompanying these thunderstorms will be highly variable and therefore difficult to predict. #BCWildfire pic.twitter.com/eh7PRX1tTb— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) May 19, 2023
The Okanagan isn’t expecting any thunderstorms on Friday but there is a 60 per cent for them on Saturday afternoon (May 20). According to Environment Canada, many regions of the Interior and the Okanagan will be impacted by smoke in the next 24-48 hours. Because of that, a special air quality statement is in affect. On top of air quality, visibility will also be reduced because of the smoke.
With a shift in weather patterns, smoke conditions should begin to slowly improve throughout the day on Friday.