A helicopter on scene at the Richter Creek wildfire, about 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos. (Photo courtesy of BC Wildfire)

A helicopter on scene at the Richter Creek wildfire, about 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos. (Photo courtesy of BC Wildfire)

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Update 10:37 a.m.

A planned ignition to burn off combustible material is anticipated to happen this afternoon at the Richter Creek wildfire, west of Osoyoos.

“We have heavy equipment working overnight and crews established a guard. Now the fire incident management team will be transitioning in to respond to the fire. They have developing operational plans to implement a planned ignition in the early afternoon. They will conduct a burn north and west flanks of the fire depending on weather conditions,” said Nicole Bonnett, fire information officer.

This means the fire will jump up to 560 hectares, as they will have a controlled burn of up to 160 hectares. Bonnett said people will see more smoke in the area due to the controlled burn.

“It will remove the combustible fuels and bring the fire down to a more workable area because the terrain that is currently burning is not great or safe to put crews into all the areas. This brings it down to safe, workable ground,” she said.

There is currently 60 firefighters on the scene and 20 more on the way to assist. Helicopters will provide bucketing support today and air tankers will lay down retardant lines to further bolster the guard.

With a long weekend coming out, Bonnett is reminding everyone to keep watch and if they suspect a fire to call it in.

“As we move into the long weekend we are seeing conditions that allow wildfires to ignite. We want everyone to be mindful of their activities and if they see a wildfire to call,” she said.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

*******************************

More evacuation alerts were put in place as the Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, continues to burn.

B.C. Wildfire said a vehicle fire that spread to adjacent grass is the cause of the blaze, which is now at an estimated 400 hectares.

Hannah Swift, a fire information officer, said two helicopters and over 40 firefighters are on the ground. The fire is classified as out of control at this time, and a number of resources dedicated to the fire will continue to increase over the coming days.

There are 13 properties in Cawston (west of Osoyoos) now on evacuation alert. These include 10 on Sumac Road (House numbers 154, 156, 164, 172, 190, 264, 296, 306, 611 and 620) and three properties on Highway 3.

READ MORE: Richter Creek wildfire now an estimated 400 hectares

This is the first major wildfire for the year for the Kamloops Fire Region and the second wildfire of note in the province — the other fire is 236 hectares and is burning west of Vanderhoof near Fraser Lake.

According to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, this isn’t a signal of another hot summer for fires in B.C. He said rainfall throughout the province is slightly above average for a normal year.

“The other key issue will depend on what we have in terms of rainfall precipitation in June. That is the bigger predictor of where the fire season is going,” he added.

READ MORE: June rain will tell if B.C. is in for another hot wildfire season

The B.C. Wildfire Service’s early summer outlook notes that a dry March was eased by normal April weather, and June is traditionally a wetter month. Lack of rain in May and June set up conditions for record fire damage in 2017 and 2018.

The province has a multi-media awareness campaign underway to remind people to be safe with any combustible materials.

“There are significant penalties in place for people who are found to have started fires, up to $1 million,” Farnworth said. “People need to be aware that careless activity, whether it’s a campfire or a cigarette butt out the window, can cause extraordinary damage. Two years ago, at least half the fires were human caused.”

To date, there have been 29 fires — one human-caused — in the Kamloops Fire Centre, burning 281 ha. Across the province, there have been 169 fires, seven of them human-caused.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Jasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
New children’s book features lost Castlegar dog who swam the Columbia multiple times

Brent and Mary Hummel and Jasper tell their dramatic story

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read