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Glen Lake wildfire outside Peachland now 450 hectares

Wildfire at 450 hectares

UPDATE 10:10 p.m.

The glow from the 450-hectare Glen Lake wildfire is visible in the night sky from Peachland.

The blaze is particularly visible from the upper Princeton Road and Pineridge areas.

The fire is still well outside of Peachland's limits and no evacuation alerts or orders are in place for the municipality itself.

Castanet will continue monitoring the fire into the evening and provide an update early Monday morning.


UPDATE: 8:40 p.m.

The Glen Lake wildfire is now listed at 450 hectares in size.

BC Wildfire Service information officer Evan Lizotte says the fire more than quadrupled in size from earlier this afternoon due to a more accurate mapping of the fire, as well as aggressive behaviour.

Lizotte says crews observed rank five behaviour in some spots, which involves "extremely vigorous" burning. BCWS ranks fires on a scale of one to six.

"It was a very hot and windy day. We did put a lot of water on the fire to try and slow things down as much as possible, and we are also working with heavy equipment to put in dozer lines where necessary," he said.

BC Wildfire says two helicopters were bucketing the fire all day.

Earlier on Sunday, the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre issued alerts and orders for properties near the fire.

The order covers six recreational properties on Glen Lake FSR, including 5503 Glen Lake FSR, along with two recreational properties at the 15/16-kilometer marker of the Glen Lake FSR.

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations says people who are at these properties must leave immediately due to the threat from the rapidly growing wildfire.

Additionally, all properties south of Peachland FSR, from the five-kilometre marker past the Brenda Forest Service Road, to the boundary between the Regional District of Central Okanagan and the Regional District of South Okanagan, have been placed on an evacuation alert.

Emergency officials say most of this area is Crown land used for recreation, but "anyone entering the alert zone must be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice."

The new evacuation orders and alerts can be found an interactive map here.

Lizotte says the cooler weather on Monday will be beneficial for crews.

"The wind shouldn't be as high, and the weather shouldn't be as hot. That will give us a little bit of relief."


UPDATE: 5 p.m.

Environment Canada says wind gusts are likely not helping crews fight the Glen Lake wildfire, which is now estimated to be 100 hectares in size.

Meteorologist Dave Wray tells Castanet that northwest winds are being clocked at 60 km/h this evening.

"Winds from the southwest could occasionally gust to 40 km/h," he said.

Wray says winds will likely be stronger on Monday.

"Unfortunately, more wind, possibly in the mid-late morning... 30 km/h gusting to possibly 60 km/h. It will be quite windy tomorrow."

The Glen Lake wildfire, burning about 15 km west of Peachland, is showing Rank 3 to 5 behaviour.

BC Wildfire says smoke may be visible to surrounding communities and trailers along Highway 97C.

UPDATE 4:00 p.m.

The Glen Lake wildfire has grown to 100 hectares in size.

The BC Wildfire Service says the team managing the Grouse Complex, which includes the McDougall Creek, Walroy Lake and Clarke Creek fires, is taking over the management of the new fire west of Peachland.

BCWS says aerial resources will be bucketing throughout the day Sunday.

The public is being reminded to practice caution and stay clear of active wildfire suppression activities.

Madison Reeve

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.

A woman who was out Sunday morning in the backcountry near the new Glen Lake wildfire says the winds were "horrendous" in the area.

Selena was up early Sunday morning, hunting in the forested area west of Peachland, when she passed by the new wildfire burning near Glen Lake. When she passed by the area on her way home around 1 p.m., she says the fire had grown significantly.

"It's definitely pushing down with that wind, the wind was just horrendous up there," she said.

Emergency officials have since set up a road block to stop people from going up the forestry road from Peachland, Selena says.

BC Wildfire Service firefighters are on scene Sunday, with support from both air resources and heavy equipment. But fire officials say the fire is showing Rank 3 to Rank 5 behaviour. Winds appear to be blowing towards the northeast Sunday afternoon.

The fire has forced the evacuation of eight recreational properties so far, and a large area has also been placed on evacuation alert. Selena says a friend of hers who operates rental cabins near Glen Lake evacuated his tenants from his cabins Saturday night because the fire was getting too close even then.

BCWS says the fire was first discovered just after 6 p.m. Saturday, and it's believed to be human-caused.


UPDATE: 1:05 p.m.

A new evacuation order has been issued for eight properties that are being threatened by the recently discovered Glen Lake wildfire Sunday afternoon.

According to the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre, the order covers six recreational properties on Glen Lake FSR, including 5503 Glen Lake FSR, along with two recreational properties at the 15/16 kilometres marker of the the Glen Lake FSR.

The EOC says people who are at these properties must leave immediately, due to threat from the rapidly growing wildfire.

Additionally, all properties south of Peachland FSR, from the five-km marker past the Brenda Forest Service Road, to the boundary between the Regional District of Central Okanagan and the Regional District of South Okanagan have been placed on an evacuation alert.

The EOC says most of this area is Crown land used for recreation, but “anyone entering the alert zone must be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.”

The new evacuation orders and alerts can be found on the EOC's interactive map here.

Gusting winds are currently blowing to the northeast Sunday afternoon. The BC Wildfire Service says the Glen Lake fire, which was just discovered Saturday evening, has grown to an estimated 75 hectares and is displaying Rank 5 behaviour.

It has now been classified as a “wildfire of note,” which means it is “highly visible or poses a potential threat to public safety.”


UPDATE: 11:50 a.m.

The new wildfire burning west of Peachland is exhibiting Rank 5 behaviour, which involves "extremely vigorous" burning.

Fire crews are on scene at the Glen Lake wildfire, which is burning about 15 kilometres west of Peachland, and aerial resources are now hitting the fast-spreading blaze.

Fire information officer Shaelee Stearns said she isn't sure specifically what aerial resources are working on the fire Sunday morning, but noted she believes helicopters are in the area.

Five helicopters remain assigned to the nearby McDougall Creek fire, and in a Sunday morning update on that fire, the BCWS says "some resources may be utilized to assist in supporting new starts."

The BCWS says the new Glen Lake fire, which has grown to an estimated 75 hectares since it was first discovered Saturday night, is exhibiting Rank 3 to Rank 5 behaviour, on the six-point scale.

Rank 5 is defined as an "extremely vigorous surface fire or active crown fire" that includes an "organized crown fire front and moderate to long-range spotting and independent spot fire growth."

Firefighters have limited options when dealing with Rank 5 fire behaviour.

"Ground operations are often restricted to fighting the least active sections of the fire or conducting ground ignition operations from secure control lines with readily available escape routes and safety zones," the BCWS says in its general description of Rank 5 firefighting.


UPDATE: 10:25 a.m.

The new wildfire burning west of Peachland Sunday has now grown to an estimated 75 hectares in size, after it was first discovered Saturday evening.

Fire crews are on scene at the fire burning near Glen Lake, about 15 kilometres west of Peachland. As of Sunday morning, the BC Wildfire Service has an initial-attack crew a heavy-equipment team on site fighting the fire. BCWS says aerial resources will be used on the fire "if conditions allow."

Firefighters first responded to the new fire start Saturday night, when it was estimated at just 10 hectares.

"With the temperatures and the humidity and the forecasted wind, the growth is based on the current conditions that we have," said Fire Information Officer Shaelee Stearns.

"There has been that increase in activity this morning, so [that growth] is a combination of the elevated activity overnight and into this morning."

BCWS says the fire will be "highly visible to the surrounding communities" and to those travelling along Highway 97C.

Stearns says there are no buildings that are being immediately threatened by the fire.


UPDATE: 8:45 a.m.

Fire crews are on scene of the new wildfire burning west of Peachland this weekend.

BC Wildfire Service Information Officer Shaelee Stearns says crews first responded to the blaze near Glen Lake Saturday evening, but an initial attack crew and an officer have returned to the fire early Sunday morning. An initial attack crew contains three to five firefighters.

Additionally, a group of heavy equipment is also en route to assist.

The estimated 10-hectare fire was first discovered Saturday night, just after 6 p.m. Stearns says the fire is showing Rank 3 behaviour, which is described as a "moderately vigorous ground fire."

The fire is suspected to be human-caused.

While the province is coming to the tail-end of its worst wildfire season on record, the backcountry remains bone-dry due to the unprecedented drought B.C. is experiencing.


ORIGINAL: 6:35 a.m.

A new wildfire is burning in the backcountry west of Peachland.

According to the BC Wildfire Service map, the fire burning near Glen Lake, just outside of the Eneas Lake Provincial Park, was first discovered Saturday evening.

The fire was estimated to be about 10 hectares in size as of 11 p.m. Saturday night.

Little is known about the fire at this time, and it's not clear if BCWS crews have attended the scene.

The BCWS says it's believed to be human-caused. The fire is burning near the Glen Lake Forestry Service Road.

Conditions remain bone-dry in the forests across the Okanagan, as B.C. continues to experience its most significant drought on record.



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