The Glen Lake wildfire remains out of control, but crews were able to make some good progress in bucketing operations on Wednesday.
New mapping was also completed. That enabled the BC Wildfire Service to update the size of the fire to 1,116 hectares, up from the previous estimate of 763 hectares.
“Today was a good bucketing day. We were able to put a lot of water on that east side,” said fire information officer Evan Lizotte. He says four helicopters were working and those bucketing operations are expected to continue on Thursday.
Lizotte is part of an incident management team from Ontario that is wrapping up its two week assignment on the Grouse Complex, which includes the Glen Lake and McDougall Creek wildfires.
After strong winds pushed the flames south on Monday, cooler weather Tuesday and Wednesday slowed the fire’s progress. The new mapping of the fire perimeter was completed Wednesday evening.
The BC Wildfire Service says fire guards around the Glen Lake wildfire set earlier this week by attending aircraft are holding.
Aircraft laid retardant along the northeast flank of the fire assisted by bucketing helicopters.
However, due to heavy smoke associated with increased winds Tuesday afternoon has made it impossible to map out a current size of the blaze.
"Today, BC Wildfire Service continue to have aircraft, ground personnel and heavy equipment fighting the fire, working in conjunction with Peachland Fire and Rescue on structural protection," a BCWS update states.
"Additional resources are arriving to the community to be deployed if needed."
Evacuation alerts and orders issued earlier in the week remain in effect.
No new alerts or orders are expected today.
UPDATE 10:15 a.m.
Cool, wet conditions continue to aid firefighters working to contain the Glen Lake wildfire burning west of Peachland.
Temperatures are expected to reach only between 11 C and 14 C Wednesday, however wind gusts later in the day continue to pose a challenge.
"Ridgetop winds at this fire are usually more than forecasted, creating challenging conditions for actioning spot fires in the slash blocks and other suppression challenges," the BC Wildfire Service said in an update Wednesday morning.
"Gusty winds of up to 65 km/hr increased fire activity and fire behaviour in the late afternoon yesterday."
Increased smoke activity as a result of the wind made it impossible to get an accurate mapping of the size of the blaze.
The fire continues to be mapped at 763 hectares and has moved to about six kilometres west of the municipal boundaries.
"The fire has had multiple helicopters bucketing over the past few days on the northeast side and bucketing operations will continue today. Heavy equipment is working on establishing a guard along the north flank and to the east.
"The fire has not breached the guard at this time; however we continue to monitor the area to ensure there are no spot fires, or if there are, we detect them early."
Evacuation alerts and order put in place by the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre, District of Summerland and RDOS remain in effect.
ORIGINAL 4 a.m.
Heavy smoke prevented the BC Wildfire Service from getting an accurate track of the Glen Lake wildfire on Tuesday evening.
The blaze about six kilometres west of Peachland was last mapped at 763 hectares on Monday night.
“Due to heavy smoke in the afternoon, an accurate perimeter map was unable to be obtained and the fire size is expected to grow once the fire has been mapped,” BCWS said in an update late Tuesday night.
“Gusty winds of up to 65 km/hr have increased fire activity and fire behaviour. The BC Wildfire Service is working with the Peachland Fire Department and local structure protection specialists on potentially activating the structure protection and defense plan,” BCWS continued.
Peachland fire chief Dennis Craig said crews were in neighbourhoods Tuesday conducting planning work out of an abundance of caution.
While the winds have been a challenge, crews have been helped by cooler and wet weather.
Evacuation alerts for most of Peachland, parts of the Summerland and rural areas within the regional district of Central Okanagan and Okanagan Similkameen remain in place.
BCWS says they should be able to provide an update on the fire later this morning.