Contrasting High Lake Levels and Fire Danger Rating

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 8:13am

Heading into the Canada Day long weekend, there’s an interesting contrast for residents and visitors.

Okanagan Lake remains well above full pool and the region has a high fire hazard which means there’s also the potential threat of fires with warm temperatures and sunny skies.

The level of Okanagan Lake dropped 1.5 centimetres from yesterday and is now at 343.037 metres above sea level; however, the lake still sits just over 55 centimetres above full pool. Kalamalka Lake is down 1.1 centimetres from yesterday and is now at 392.232 metres.

Residents and visitors looking to enjoy lakes in the area are encouraged to check out the Boating Wake maps at www.cordemergency.ca/map and follow the guidelines for respectful boating. Once lake levels reach more reasonable levels, regular boating activities can resume.

Heading into the long weekend, as it is safe crews are removing flood protection measures from various public spaces, like parks and road ends.  Yesterday some flood defences were removed at locations in West Kelowna and Peachland.  In Kelowna, some barriers were removed in City Park and Tugboat Bay in order to reopen some public beach areas. Removal of additional flood protection measures will continue in public areas and locations that have a higher beach elevation and are no longer considered vulnerable to wave action erosion. Residents should check with each municipality on which parks, beaches and roads are open.

Property owners along lakefront should continue to monitor their flood protection measures. For residents in areas were the flooding risk has passed, more information about sandbag locations for drop off, details about recovery efforts, and a link to the online Emergency Management BC sandbag recovery application, can be found at www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-recovery.

In contrast to the continued high water levels of Central Okanagan lakes, our region also has a high fire danger rating.  Residents should be extremely careful with any fire materials and remember that smoking and campfires are not allowed in any regional or municipal park.    Fireworks are only allowed with a permit from local fire departments.  Campfires are not allowed at any time within the City of Kelowna.

For municipal information such as boat launch, park and beach closures and water quality advisories, visit their websites:

For beach water quality updates, visit Interior Health’s Water Samples page on www.interiorhealth.ca.

To stay informed about flooding and the recovery efforts, visit www.cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates or call the information line at 250-469-8490.