Unclear whether rain will help Smith Creek fire crews

Crews continuing to battle back the Smith Creek wildfire are waiting to see how Mother Nature will intervene.

Environment Canada has forecast a potential rainfall of 25 to 50 mm with thunderstorms Wednesday through Thursday.

"An area of low pressure crossing the British Columbia Interior will produce heavy showers with embedded thunderstorms beginning Wednesday," said meteorologist Doug Lundquist.

The ministry of forests' fire behaviour analyst has looked at that forecast, and has presented two potential scenarios, said fire information officer Kelsey Winter.

"It depends on how those two inches of rain fall," she said.

"If it drizzles, it will be absorbed by the fire. If it comes down all at once, there's the potential for soil erosion."

While the potential for erosion is there, Winter said it's not really expected to materialize. More than likely, the water will simply take over for crews who remain in the line of fire and they'll be pulled out for their own well-being.

"If there's thunder and erratic winds then it's  not safe to have crews on the slope in that weather," said Winter.

Once the rain has abated, troublesome conditions are expected to return.

"We're expecting seven to ten days of really dry and really hot weather," said Winter. "We're not out of the woods yet."

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