VANCOUVER — Cool, showery weather is helping wildfire crews make progress on the five highly visible or potentially damaging wildfires currently burning in British Columbia.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has lifted all evacuation alerts posted earlier this month for an area of Fry Creek, Birchdale and Johnsons Landing on the east shore of Kootenay Lake, north of Nelson.

It says the nine-square kilometre, lightning-caused wildfire sparked on Aug. 25 remains active but is no longer threatening those communities as the showers are expected to keep fire behaviour low.

Rain in southwest B.C. also dampened the two wildfires east and southwest of Hope, including the five-square kilometre blaze that affected eastbound traffic on Highway 1, and the BC Wildfire Service says both fires are now ranked as “being held,” meaning neither is likely to spread.

Showers in B.C.’s northeast are forecast over the roughly 300-square kilometre blaze that continues to threaten a major hydroelectric dam and force evacuation of the entire Peace River community of Hudson’s Hope.

That wildfire and another southeast of Tumbler Ridge which is also uncontained, are likely to respond to the rain and cooler temperatures, although the wildfire service says gusty winds have complicated firefighting efforts on the flank of the fire farthest from Hudson’s Hope.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2022.

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