Still fighting fires hard

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 4 p.m.

It has almost been two weeks since multiple wildfires were sparked due to lightning in the Okanagan Valley.

Firefighters are working to get a handle on the wildfires, but heat, dry conditions and difficult terrain could case the fires to flare up at any moment.

Operations chief with BC Wildfire Service Jeff Austin said they had to transfer a crew of firefighters to the Frederick Creek wildfire after it went for a run on Sunday night.

“Not that big, but it is a enough to cause us problems to ruin all the good work that has been done there,” he said. “We have a skimmer group there right now.”

There is no water in that area, so water is being bucketed from the lake and into bladders which then are pumped out to fight the fire.

Fire information officer Noelle Kekula said the Frederick Creek wildfire has been more active over the past 24 hours.

An infrared scan of the wildfires was conducted on the north end of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park and the Naramata side to pin-point hot spots.

“This way the crews don’t waste time searching all over the mountain for hot spots,” he said.

A turn over in firefighters and crews is expected to take place on Wednesday, bringing fresh crews to continue to fight the wildfires.

Kekula said the Mount Eneas is now under control as of Monday morning.

“The park fires area still out of control,” she said.

Goode’s Creek wildfire grew in size over the weekend, but Kekula said they expected the growth to an estimated 1,370.30 hectares. Frederick Creek is estimated at 56.50 hectares and the Glenfir is estimated at 100 hectares. 

“It has grown away from the houses, away from Kelowna and it is not a bad thing,” she said.

UPDATE 1:20 a.m.

BC Wildfire Service is transferring crews who have been fighting the fire on Glenfir Road, the trailblazers unit crew, to the interior wildfire called the Frederick Creek wildfire.

Jeff Austin, BCWS Operation Chief, tells Castanet, "we have done some structure protection on the interior of the fire. There is a cabin in there but a small section has gone for a run and could potentially ruin all the good work that's been done there. So we have to get on it. We've got a skimmer group out of Kamloops that are on it. They are being backed up immediately by hose lays, that's where we're going right now."

With extreme temperatures expected to continue until mid week, fire crews will remain on high alert ready to respond at a moments notice.

Environment Canada has a 30 per cent chance of thunrderstorms in the forecast with the potential for lightning on Wednesday in the Okanagan.

ORIGINAL 10:20 a.m.

Five fires of note are currently burning in the Okanagan-Similkameen on Monday morning.

Castanet News reporter Alanna Kelly will be heading up in the air with BC Wildfire Service to take a look at the wildfires burning on Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park.

In the park, the Glenfir Road and Goode’s Creek wildfires are currently fires of note. The Frederick Creek wildfire is also active, burning at 56.50 hectares in size.

We will be providing an update on all of the fires and also what the biggest challenges are today in the fight against wildfires in our region.

Alanna Kelly

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