Another week of forecasted hot and dry weather has City and forestry firefighters remaining extra vigilant beyond the normal summer fire season.
Usually the cool nights and shorter days keep the region's fire danger at a moderate rating in late September, fire information officer Michaela Swan said Thursday.
The rating on Thursday was high to extreme, she said.
"This is not unheard of for this time of year but it's certainly unusual," said Swan.
Unusual enough that the forest service isn't taking any chances. There are 173 personnel currently on duty throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. Swan said summer students have returned to school but other staff are on the job.
She said the fire centre usually starts standing down crews at this time of year.
The weather is a concern all over the province. Jeff Berry of the Provincial Airtanker Centre said his aircraft are on duty everywhere, even places like Fort St. John.
There are 10 air tankers and five bird dogs ready to fly at a moment's notice, he said. In September there's usually two air tankers and one bird dog at the ready.
"It's a fairly big area that is still quite dry. That's what we're concerned about," he said.
The Environment Canada forecast suggests the end won't come soon. Meteorologist Jim Steele said temperatures could hit 30 C this weekend before a gradual cooling next week
But there's no rain in sight, nor has there been for most of the month, he said. The one saving grace is the overnight low hits about 7 C with high humidity, which creates morning dew.
Temperatures will cool to a seasonal 21 C next week, said Steele. And the shorter days mean the daily high only lasts a few hours instead of most of the day.
"We've had a spectacular run," he said.
Swan said a typical fire season runs May to October, so an end is in sight.
"October is coming," she said.
The hot weather is also a concern for City fire crews. Fire and Rescue assistant chief Mike Adams reminds people there are no open-flame fires allowed in the city limits — and that includes bonfires.
Anyone caught violating the bylaw will be fined $500, he said.
Swan said there have been eight fires in and around Kamloops this past week. All are human caused and under investigation. That includes the Noble Creek fire, which is contained at seven hectares.
Meanwhile, the haze above the city the last several days is a result of forest fires burning in other parts of the province and south of the B.C. border in the United States.
The Entiako Lake fire in the northeast corner of Tweedsmuir Park has spread smoke down the coast to Bella Coola, east to Prince George and as far south as Kamloops. The fire was estimated Thursday afternoon at 6,120 hectares.