Ash coats a car in downtown Penticton. Image: Kristi Patton

Update: Ash falls in Okanagan as Similkameen fire grows

Drivers from Penticton to Vernon are reporting a layer of ash on their vehicles.

UPDATED: 9 p.m.

As a short-lived thunder and lightning storm moved across the valley, residents left work to find their cars blanketed in ash Tuesday afternoon.

Drivers from Penticton to Vernon reported a layer of ash on their vehicles.

Environment Canada states its models indicate the smoke is mostly coming from the large Snowy Mountain Fire south of Keremeos.

Related: 481 properties on evacuation alert as Snowy Mountain fire rages

Related: Rappel crew lands to attack Mount Bastion fire near Salmon Arm

As of Tuesday evening, the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen put 481 properties on evacuation alert in the Lower Similkameen because of the threat of that wildfire.

The fire is still listed at 3,050 hectares in size but is expected to grow because of the aggressive behaviour Tuesday.

Reports came in of thunder rolling across the Similkameen, Okanagan and Shuswap. A short burst of rain was also noted in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Hedley.

Related: Thunderstorms expected in Kelowna

Related: Relief from smoky skies predicted for Okanagan

Related: Glenfir wildfire holds at 100 hectares

Related: Okanagan Mountain Park fire still out of control

Related: Mount Eneas fire near Peachland holding at 1,793 hectares

Send us your best ash, fire and lightning photos to okanagan@bpdigital.ca.

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@carmenweld
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