West Kelowna  

Evacuation alerts remain in place around the Brenda Creek wildfire

Growth in Brenda Creek fire

UPDATE 11:51 a.m.

The Brenda Creek wildfire burning south of the Okanagan Connector above Peachland has shown significant growth over the past several days.

Fire information officer Mike McCulley, stationed at the Okanagan Complex in Penticton, says the fire is now mapped at 662 hectares in size.

The fire was last estimated at 450 hectares on the weekend.

"It didn't all happen overnight," McCulley says.

"That's growth that has happened over the last several days. We just had some trouble tracking it."

McCulley says there was some growth yesterday resulting from stronger winds from the northwest.

"We did have some growth to the east and the south, but it's acceptable growth because it did remove fuel for us between the guard line and the fire.

"So far, we have had good luck. We've had no impact to the transmission line. We do have the high-volume water line set up and ready to go."

He says crews are continuing to reinforce guard lines to keep the growth of the fire at a minimum.

Today, 42 provincial firefighters, three helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy machinery are working on the fire. They are being assisted by some structural firefighters from Peachland, West Kelowna and North Westside fire departments.

The potential for strong winds remains a concern for crews on the ground and operationally.

McCulley says the operations centre is in constant contact with meteorologists.

"When they make a forecast for a broad wind event, it means the air is unstable. What we're looking at here is an unstable, sub tropic flow of air that is coming up into a stable air mass.

"That can cause local gusting, local mixing."

Evacuation alerts issued by the Central Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen and Thompson Nicola regional districts all remain in effect.

ORIGINAL 11:00 a.m.

It's status quo as far as evacuation alerts are concerned for residents within proximity of the Brenda Creek wildfire south of the Okanagan Connector.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre says all alerts and restrictions within the Central Okanagan Regional District portion of the fire are still in effect.

The alerts affect approximately 18 properties, three recreational campsites as well as Crown land within the RDCO.

The area is also affected by a BC Wildfire area restriction order.

The fire, burning for nearly a week, remains mapped at 450 hectares in size, and is still listed as out of control.

Structural firefighters from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and North Westside departments remain on the scene, assisting provincial firefighters.

Local crews are extinguishing hot spots and patrolling BC Hydro transmission lines throughout the wildfire area.

The EOC says local governments continue to work with BC Hydro, Interior Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on plans should there be an extended power outage in the Greater Westside area.

The transmission line is the sole source of power for more than 60,000 customers within the region.

While customers are encouraged to learn more about preparing for the potential of a lengthy outage, stores within the Central Okanagan are telling Castanet News generators are hard, if not impossible to come by.

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