Heavy rain helps douse Okanagan wildfires, as destruction becomes clearer

Heavy rain helps douse Okanagan wildfires, as destruction becomes clearer
A fallen tree burns at the Lower East Adams Lake wildfire, in Scotch Creek, B.C., on Sunday, August 20, 2023. Firefighters in British Columbia's southern interior continue to battle a number of significant wildfires even as cooler, wetter weather is anticipated in the region.

Firefighters in the Okanagan say heavy rain overnight has helped douse wildfires that forced the evacuation of thousands of people, as the cost of the devastating blazes becomes clearer.

They say 174 properties have been partially or totally damaged by the fires that had been rampaging around Lake Okanagan since last Thursday.

West Kelowna fire Chief Jason Brolund says a total of 84 properties were partially or totally damaged in West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation.

Brolund says the overnight rain was a “very positive sign”, and combined with higher humidity it had given the battle against the McDougall Creek fire a boost.

Chief Ross Kotscherofski of the North Westside fire rescue department says his region had “received rain, and a lot of it,” and it will help with “mopping up” fires on the east side of the lake.

Kotscherofski says 90 properties in his firefighting region were damaged or destroyed, although some, including the Lake Okanagan Resort, consist of multiple structures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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