New B.C. wildfire grows by not yet a threat

Published: July 29, 2019

Updated: August 28, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Wildfire season in British Columbia in 2019 has so far been characterized by large fires that have thankfully not caused huge amounts of damage. One currently burning wildfire in the southern Okanagan is fitting that trend.

So far, the blaze has claimed over four-square kilometres of timber and bushland. Firefighters admit the wildfire is proving to be stubborn but are hoping to get on top if it in the coming days. Despite growing in size, the fire seems unlikely to be a threat to infrastructure in the area.

BC Wildfire Service says the wildfire is being handled by ground crews and its low activity means no helicopters are required to dump water onto it.

The fire is currently burning alongside Highway 3 between Osoyoos and Cawston. On the BC Wildfire Service website, the blaze is deemed to be active. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says an evacuation order for 10 properties in the Cawston area will remain in place despite the fire not seeming a threat.

According to the wildfire service, the fire was probably started by a lightning strike. 100 firefighters are battling the blaze, with nine helicopters available if needed.

Fire crews are constructing a guard that stretches across the north and east boundaries of the wildfire. However, progress is slow because crews are working in a steep incline.

Environment Canada has posted an air quality update for the Similkameen region. It points out smoke in the air could have an impact on health. Despite this warning, BC Wildfire Service says the fire has not been generating much smoke in recent days.