UPDATE 6:30 P.M. BY ROY WOOD:
A ten-hectare brush fire about five kilometers west of Osoyoos threatened three homes in the Old Richter Pass Road area Wednesday afternoon but was controlled before any damage occurred.
The fire began about 2 p.m. By about 3:30 p.m. the B.C. Forest Service had 14 firefighters, five aircraft and two pieces of heavy equipment battling the blaze. By shortly after five it was under-control.
According to Wildfire Management Branch spokesperson Melissa Klassen: “(The) branch is responding to a wildfire, roughly ten hectares in size, along Old Richter Pass Road, south of Spotted Lake, west of Osoyoos. Fourteen firefighters are responding, and two twenty-person unit crews are also en route.”
As well, five air tankers were dropping retardant and two helicopters were dropping water from nearby lakes. The Osoyoos Fire Department was also on the scene.
The area of the fire is mostly grass and native brush. Most of the homes in the area are located on substantial acreages.
Klassen says as of 6:30 p.m. crews are still working to establish containment but air-tankers have ended their role for the night and the fire is not as aggressive as it was earlier.
ORIGINAL STORY :
The BC Wildfire Management Branch is hitting a wildfire burning west of Osoyoos with 'everything they have.'
Branch spokesperson, Melissa Klassen, says five aircraft and two helicopters are actioning the two hectare fire which is burning near Old Richter Pass Road south of Spotted Lake.
Along with the air support Klassen says 14 ministry firefighters are on site with two-20 man unit crews en route.
Two water tenders are also assisting along with members of the Osoyoos Fire Department.
"We are definitely responding to this fire with everything that we can," says Klassen.
"The area is in a fire danger rating which means chances of a wild fire is high. It also means that once a wildfire starts it spreads pretty rapidly. That's what we are seeing with recent fire behaviour with these longer stretches of hot, dry weather."
Klassen says the fire is spreading quickly and was initially displaying aggressive fire behaviour.
She adds structures are also in the immediate area.
"There are structures and right now our main objective is to protect those structures."
Klassen says air support is hitting the fire as hard as possible.
"We are still trying to establish containment and air tankers have completed action of laying retardant on the head of the fire."
Castanet has a reporter on the scene. We'll have more details as they become available.
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