UPDATE: 8:35 p.m.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Blue Mountain Wildfire west of Penticton is now estimated at 50 hectares.
A group of six air tankers were actioning the fire that sparked on Friday afternoon but have likely finished for the evening.
Twelve BCWS personnel were reported to be working on the fire alongside Penticton Indian Band fire crews.
The PIB has also activated its emergency operations centre and has issued an evacuation alert for four properties.
UPDATE: 7:38 p.m.
An evacuation alert has been issued by the Penticton Indian Band Chief and Council and Emergency Operations Centre for four homes in the Shingle Creek area due to the threat of the Blue Mountain Wildfire, which sparked on Friday afternoon.
The PIB stated that the evacuation alert has been issued as a precaution to variable conditions and asks those to take the time to prepare to evacuate the property should it be found necessary.
The addresses on evacuation alert are :
- 851 Shingle Creek
- 119 Big Valley Road
- 411 Big Valley Road
- 111 Shingle Creek
If assistance is needed to prepare to move disabled persons, children and/or neighbours, residents are asked to contact the PIB EOC for assistance.
Pet owners and hobby farmers with concern for their animals can contact Animal Emergency Response Team (ALERT) at 250-809-7152 or [email protected] Farmers should contact the PIB EOC.
Those on alert can pre-register at ess.gov.bc.ca
The full evacuation notice from the PIB can be found below.
Photo: Penticton Indian Band
UPDATE: 7:23 p.m.
The BC Wildfire Service says that a group of six air tankers are actioning the Blue Mountain wildfire west of Penticton.
The bombers were hitting the candling trees with retardant and water.
Twelve BCWS personnel were last reported to be en route to the fire, which sparked late on Friday afternoon.
The wildfire is still estimated at 10 hectares in size.
The City of Penticton stated that city emergency officials are aware of the fire and are cooperating with all partners and stand ready to provide support as requested.
The PIB has also activated its emergency operations centre. A fire band and off-roading ban remains in place for the PIB.
BCWS said that the fire is exhibiting aggressive rank four behaviour with an organized flame front and candling with short-range spotting.
UPDATE 6:30 p.m.
The Penticton Indian Band says their fire department is responding to the wildfire alongside the BC Wildfire Service.
The First Nation has also activated its emergency operations centre.
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen said its emergency staff are standing by to assist in the situation.
Crews are in the process of closing Shingle Creek Road due to the fire.
A lack of cell phone coverage in the area is slowing the flow of information from the scene.
UPDATE 5:25 p.m.
Strong winds are fanning a growing wildfire west of Penticton.
The BC Wildfire Service says the now-named Blue Mountain wildfire is estimated at 10 hectares in size. It is burning within the boundaries of the PIB reserve on the western slopes of the mountain it is named for.
“It is exhibiting aggressive rank four behaviour with an organized flame front and candling with short-range spotting,” BCWS said.
Wildfires in B.C. are ranked on a scale of one to six, with six being the worst.
“Crews and aerial resources are responding. Smoke in the area will be highly visible from this wildfire and from wildfires burning along the U.S. border,” BCWS added.
The fire is burning about 15 km north of the Keremeos Creek wildfire, which resulting in hundreds of homes being evacuated earlier this summer.
While that 7,000-hectare fire is still classified as “held,” BCWS says the strong winds are resulting in “growth on the southwest side” of the fire and is exhibiting rank two and three fire behaviour.
A BCWS spokesperson says the Keremoes Creek fire’s new growth is taking place within containment lines.
ORIGINAL 5 p.m.
The BC Wildfire Service are scrambling to respond to a new fire start west of Penticton.
The fire is burning up Shingle Creek Road, within or near the boundaries of the Penticton Indian Band Reserve.
BCWS says they are still gathering information and was not immediately able to comment, but traffic from firefighting aircraft is focused north of Shingle Creek Roads intersection with Green Mountain Road.
Photos sent to Castanet also show helicopters bucketing the fire.
More to come…
Photo: Darrel Hagel
Read More:Blue Mountain wildfire west of Penticton up to 50 hectares – Penticton News