Wildfire 80% contained – Penticton News

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UPDATE 9:15 p.m.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says a controlled burn in 80 per cent containment around the Richter Creek wildfire 12 kilometers west of Osoyoos.

Including the terrain burned by firefighters, the blaze has now scorched 507 hectares of grass and trees off Highway 3.

"BCWS said online" This controlled burn brought the fire down the steep slopes to the established control line "As the fire is now in more workable terrain, they will continue with direct attack off the control lines."

Four firefighters will stay on the fire overnight.

Seventy-five firefighters and four helicopters will resume the fight in the morning.


UPDATE 5:20 p.m.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says back operations at the Richter Creek wildfire west of Osoyoos are now underway, which will result in more smoke and fire activity.

Fire information officer Hannah Swift said exactly how the controlled burn runs for is dependent on the weather.

"But it's going well out there and we will have personnel on site monitoring it through the evening."

Crews are burning about 100 hectares on the north and west flanks of the fire.

Fire officials are hopeful the burning and significant rain in the forecast will slow the fire's advance.

Showers are expected to roll over the region tonight, with 10-15 millimeters expected to fall on Thursday and another 10 millimeters on Friday.

Rain "definitely wouldn’t hurt, it would be helpful," Swift said.

There is, however, a risk of thunderstorms late afternoon Thursday.

The Richter Creek fire is still pegged at 400 hectares. There are 75 firefighters and four helicopters assigned to the blaze, with more resources on the way.


UPDATE: 4:10 p.m.

Ignitions have begun at the Richter Creek wildfire site, later than expected.

The current fire activity has led to the crew for 100 hectares of burn area rather than the previously planned 160. Smoke should be expected from nearby communities.

Aircraft with flame retardant are on site for support.

ORIGINAL: 10 a.m.

The Richter Creek fire 12 kilometers outside Osoyoos is still listed as "out of control" on the B.C. Wildfire Service website, and crews will be administered planned burns this morning and afternoon to try to keep it contained.

A total of 62 wildfire fighters are expected with noon, joining two pieces of heavy equipment that arrived overnight to work on building a guard.

The fire is still listed at 400 hectares and as being caused by a vehicle fire, but B.C. Wildfire Service Communications Officer Nicole Bonnett said she is expected to jump today, mostly two to the ignition burns.

"It will be approximately 160 hectares that they are looking to burn on the west and north of the area," Bonnett said.

She added that people in the area.

They also have an "incident management team" comprised of B.C. Wildfire members from other areas of the country.

"They like in and take over a wildfire, multiple fires," Bonnett said. "We're moving into a long weekend here."

The planned ignition burns will go forward only if weather permits.

"It's going to be really windy, if our conditions are going to be met, like relative humidity, that thing, then obviously we can't go ahead," Bonnett said.

"In this case we're looking for an understated burn, but there's every chance you'll get the occasional tree that you'll get the candling. But the intent is to try and burn out some of those fuels to stop any potential spread, because where it's currently burning it's not ideal for our crews. "

The ignitions will be done by hand on the ground and partly from above.

"And we have helicopters that will be out there and will be available for bucket support, and the air tankers will be out there with retardant help help the existing guards," Bonnett said.

Another fire in the South Okanagan sparked yesterday near Apex, known now officially as Shatford Creek, is doing well.

"The fire is now under control. Next to zero fire activity," she said. "We won't have crews out there today."

That fire is anticipated to have been human caused.

"If it's not a lightning-caused fire it'll be determined to have caused human misery, but that could mean a multitude of things," Bonnett said.

Castanet will have updates in the day on the Richter Creek fire. 14 properties are currently under evacuation alert in the area.

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