Smoke is hampering the fire fighting effort at the Tatoosh fire.
BC Forest Service Fire Information Officer Jeff Moore says the smoke is making things much more risky for ground crews.
"Smoke is hampering not only our operations, but visibility. Yesterday a spot fire came off the boundaries of the Tatoosh fire and it was determined to be about 250 hecters North of the fire. This is just proof of what we have been indicating all along, that smoke has been hampering our visibility and ability to spot new fires should they appear. The biggest single issue there is the safety of the responders. Had we had people on the ground in front of that fire, they may well have been stuck between two large fires," says Moore.
He says the fire has grown on the Canadian side of the border since yesterday.
"The Tatoosh fire has about 2100 hecters burning in South Pasayten River Valley, SE of Manning Park. There are both ground and air forces assembled in Princeton for the suppression effort on this fire. There was some nighttime operations that occurred both yesterday evening and overnight and those operations were primarily aimed at 'fighting fire with fire,' burning off in advance of the fire from some control points that had been established by heavy equipment," says Moore.
He says fire spotting that occurred yesterday has already passed some of their planned trigger points.
"The spotting is concerning us more then anything else, it has burned up to the southeastern boundary of Manning Park and it is holding at that line at this time. There are some things being done in advance of the fire, such as building additional lines. It is a situation of backing off to the next line and trying the same strategies," says Moore.
He says there is no immediate threat to any residence in the Pasayten River or the community of Eastgate, but air and ground monitoring is taking place as visibility permits. Winds from the north of about 10 km/h are forecast at about 3 pm today, which could help clear some of the smoke.
"If that happens we will be able to be more aggressive on the ground and in the air in our suppression efforts," says Moore.
A public information phone line, managed jointly by the BC Forest Service and the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre, has been established in the Princeton EOC to specifically provide information regarding current conditions on the Tatoosh fire. For updates, please call: 1-877-295-3790.
Tatoosh Fire Update
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