A moderating effect on uncontrolled Okanagan wildfires provided by slight amounts of rain proved fleeting with an expected return this week to hot and dry conditions.
The BC Wildfire Service says showers on the BC Day long weekend helped somewhat to damp down the blazes burning near Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton.
"The fire received one to two millimetres of precipitation yesterday. While that has provided a slight reprieve in fire behaviour, conditions are forecast to return to being warm and dry over the next two days," the BCWS said in a Monday update on the 13,000 ha. Nk'Mip fire burning six kilometres north of Osoyoos.
Similar descriptions of the rain's impact were given for the Brenda Creek fire 40 km west of Peachland/West Kelowna (824 ha), the Garrison Lake fire 33 km southwest of Princeton (8,175 ha), and the Thomas Creek fire three kilometres northeast of Okanagan Falls (10,250 ha).
The Bunting Road fire 41 km north of Lumby (5,000 ha) was said to have received "a good amount of rain" on Sunday and early Monday. But people have been reported driving into evacuated areas on the east side of Mabel Lake, the BCWS says.
Rainfall was also significant enough to "cause puddles in parking lots" near the Two Mile Road (1,200 ha) two kilometres south of Sicamous, the BCWS says. Highway 97A remains closed for 28 km from five kilometres north of Enderby to Sicamous. The detour route is Highway 97B and the Trans-Canada Highway.
Temperatures across the Okanagan are forecast to be in the low 30sC range from Tuesday through Thursday, with temperatures 10 degrees cooler and more showers into the weekend.
Last month was the hottest July on record in the Okanagan with an average daytime high of 33.4 C in Kelowna, 33.3 C in Penticton, and 33.1 C in Vernon.
Temperatures failed to hit at least 30 C on only three days last month in Kelowna.