High winds could hamper fire effort
Jul 30, 2012 / 3:59 pm
High winds of between 20km/h and 30km/h Monday afternoon could hamper fire fighting efforts on the Wilson's Landing wildfire.
Fire Information Officer, Michaela Swan, says it was heavy winds Sunday night that allowed the blaze to jump a fire guard and grow six times in size over night.
"We did have containment last night at about 4.4 hectares, but around 10 p.m. we had an unexpected increase in wind," says Swan.
"We had it clocked at about 22k/hr. We did see increased fire behaviour and falling debris did allow the fire to cross the containment line and continue the spread of the fire."
The fire is now pegged at nearly 27 hectares in size.
Swan says high afternoon winds "could present a challenge for our resources and fire fighters fighting this fire."
The fire is about 20 per cent contained and Swan says fire crews are working hard to firm up control lines.
At the present time 50 wildfire fire fighters are on the ground fighting the fire while five helicopters continue to hit it with water from above.
"We were fortunate to get the air tankers out first thing this morning and they have successfully laid retardant around all sides of this wildfire,"says Swan.
"That has definitely helped slow down the spread of this fire."
The fire started Friday night after a fierce thunderstorm rolled through the Okanagan.
About 50 homes in the Wilson's Landing area are on evacuation alert.
Swan says that alert will remain in place until the fire calms down.
Westside Road, which was closed for much of the day is now open to single lane alternating traffic.
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