For the first time since the firestorm of August 17/18, the McDougall Creek wildfire is no longer considered out of control.
In an update post to its website Wednesday evening, the BC Wildfire Service now lists the fire as being held. That means it is deemed unlikely to spread beyond the predetermined boundaries under current conditions.
The fire remains at an estimated 13, 940 hectares.
After weeks of hot, dry and sometimes windy conditions, the weather shifted to cooler temperatures with some scattered showers earlier this week.
Today, crews continued to work on mop up objectives, patrols and extinguishing of hotspots that have been identified through infrared scanning.
BCWS said that personnel will continue demobilization of non-essential equipment while rehabilitation specialists embedded in the incident to begin operations in critical areas. Their work is expected to continue well into the fall.
Despite the fire being held an Area Restriction Order remains in force until 12:00 (noon) PDT on October 03, 2023 or until the Order is rescinded. Conservation Officer staff will continue to do patrols for the foreseeable future to continue to enforce the order.
The order is in place for public safety due to several hazards including heavy equipment and chainsaw operators at work as well as ash pits and falling trees. The area under restriction includes Bear Creek Provincial Park. Failure to comply with the restriction area requirements may result in a violation ticket of $1,150.
West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund expects more evacuation orders and alerts in areas affected by the McDougall Creek wildlife will be lifted in the coming days.