Firefighters battling a blaze near Penticton, B.C., welcomed cooler weather on Sunday, authorities said as winds began pushing the flames away from the city in the Okanagan Valley.
The Christie Mountain fire has seen “minimal” growth over the weekend, B.C. Wildfire Service officials said.
“Slightly cooling temperatures will likely mean fairly safe fire conditions, so that’s good news,” said Greg Jonuk, a fire information officer.
Jonuk said just over 200 firefighters and a total of 16 helicopters were fighting the wildfire, which remained roughly 20 square kilometres in size.
Strong winds over the weekend had failed to fuel the blaze, but more than 3,700 properties in Penticton remain on an evacuation alert.
Jonuk wouldn’t rule out a threat to structures but said there is some optimism about how the fire is being managed.
“The conditions are trending favourably,” he said.
The fire is burning on rocky, sloped terrain, making it hard for ground crews and heavy equipment to tackle.
The region also remains under an Environment Canada special weather statement warning of smoky skies caused by the fire.
Meanwhile in B.C.’s Slocan Valley, 305 homes have been issued an evacuation alert over growing concerns about the spread of the nearby Talbot Creek wildfire.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 23, 2020.