No growth since Monday on Pigeon Creek wildfire, west of Peachland

Fire growth stalled

Rob Gibson

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.

The Pigeon Creek wildfire has not grown since Monday, but it is still listed as out of control.

The fire, located 6.5 kilometres west of Peachland, remains at an estimated 33 hectares in size. It continues to exhibit Rank 1 and Rank 2 fire activity, mainly smouldering ground fire with some spots of low vigorous surface fire.

Sixty ground personnel were working on the wildfire Wednesday, supported by helicopters and skimmer air tankers.

The BC Wildfire Service doesn’t plan to have any personnel working the fire overnight.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.

A fleet of water skimmer aircraft dropped 1.6 million litres of water on the Pigeon Creek wildfire Tuesday, as they assist ground crews in fighting the blaze that's been burning off the Okanagan Connector since Sunday.

In a birds-eye-view video posted to Twitter by the BC Wildfire Service, the fleet of six Air Tractor 802 Fire Boss aircraft can be seen dropping 2,200-litres of water at a time on the blaze.

The pilots of the six planes were kept busy Tuesday, and the BCWS say they dropped a total of about 1.6 million litres.

Fire behaviour has decreased considerably Wednesday and the aircraft were not active on the fire earlier today.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.

The Pigeon Creek wildfire west of Peachland did not see any growth overnight and is still estimated at 33 hectares.

Fire information officer Aydan Corey says 60 ground crew members returned to the blaze this morning. Air support is not currently over the fire, but is on standby.

The fire is still best described as a smouldering ground fire, so the fight is moving to more of a ground attack.

"They're going to be securing the perimeter line and fuel free guard,” Corey said.

Once the perimeter of the fire is secured, the fire’s classification may be moved to being “held.”

“But for now, until they know it won't grow any further. It'll be [classified as] out of control.”

Ground crew members are now hiking up to the fire from the Highway 97C turnaround while helicopters drop in equipment.

The very steep slopes and hot temperatures expected today will be a challenge for crews.

“Their safety and ensuring we're preventing heatstroke as much as possible is a priority for our crews,” Corey said. “So ensuring they're taking regular rest intervals and staying hydrated — monitoring for any of those heat stress symptoms.”


Scorching heat will be a challenge for crews fighting the Pigeon Creek wildfire west of Peachland today.

Temperatures in the Central Okanagan are expected to hit 33 C on Wednesday while winds could gust up to 40 km/h.

The wildfire did not grow at all on Tuesday and remains 33 hectares in size.

“There are currently 60 ground personnel assigned to this incident, being supported by helicopters and skimmer air tankers as necessary,” BCWS said online.

Fire activity was described by BCWS on Tuesday night as a “smouldering ground or surface fire with minimal rate of spread.”

BCWS has also now published a perimeter map showing a more exact location of the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

This story will be updated throughout the day with the latest on the fire.

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