Weather extremes: Snow covers Okanagan highway as Penticton wildfires burn

Weather extremes have hit B.C. with snow hitting an Okanagan highway while wildfires were being fought nearby.

Two days before the official start of summer, snow has been falling on an Okanagan highway while wildfires were being fought nearby.

According to Environment Canada, snow blanketed the Okanagan Connector on Wednesday morning, with flakes continuing to fall between Aspen Grove and Brenda Mines. The low freezing levels combined with an unstable air mass pave the way for “thundersnow” on Highway 97C, said the weather agency.

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Meanwhile, six homes on the Penticton Indian Band were evacuated after an early Wednesday forest fire was spotted nearby. Crews have since knocked down the blaze and residents have been allowed to return home, according to a message posted to the band’s Facebook page at around 6 a.m.

Those residents, however, remain on evacuation alert should the fire flare-up again.

The band is located about an hour’s drive from where the Elkhart highway camera is located on Highway 97C.

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the world has about 12 years left to try to avoid climate catastrophe due to rising greenhouse-gas emissions.

Several Metro Vancouver municipalities have passed motions in recent months to declare climate emergencies, including Port Moody as recently as last week.

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