UPDATED: Peachland wildfire grows

The Finlay Creek wildfire southwest of Peachland and Kelowna, is burning rapidly

Click here for an update from Sept. 2

Sept. 1 updates:

Update 8:45 p.m.

Fire officials say they are hoping for cool temperatures and less wind overnight as crews continue to battle a fast-growing fire southwest of Peachland.

Near Finlay Creek, the fire has quickly escalated in size and is now estimated at 100 hectares, continuing a pattern of doubling almost every hour since it began to burn.

BC Wilfire Service spokesperson Rachel Witt said there wasn’t a lot of good news on the fire, however it had been ranked down to a rank two, meaning there was less open flame.

“Fire behaviour has decreased down to rank two which is less open flame so hopefully tonight we’ll see those temperatures drop, the wind drop, humidity recovery drop and hopefully that will help suppression efforts.”

Seven firefighters and two pieces of heavy equipment will remain fighting the fire overnight, attempting to use what Witt called an extensive network of roads to act as a fire guard.

Witt said crews were hopefully to get a break through the evening.

“There’s nothing but sunshine and heat for the foreseeable future, so we’re hoping at night-time we at least get a bit of a reprieve,” she said.

Update: 7:25 p.m.

The Peachland fire near Finlay Creek is now estimated at 40 hectares in size, continuing to burn southwest of Peachland.

The fire continues its increase in size, doubling each hour since it first began.

There are now more firefighters, as 18 fire crews are on the scene on the ground, and still getting support from the air.

There are no structures in the immediate area of the fire.

The BC Wildfire Service has listed the cause of the fire as human-caused, on its interactive map of fires across BC

Update: 6:19 p.m.

The fire in a forested area above Peachland is growing quickly and is now estimated to be 20 hectares in size, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Steep terrain and strong westerly winds are giving firefighters trouble containing the blaze, which has doubled in just over an hour, said Jody Lucius, a fire information officer.

The fire is near Finlay Creek, about seven kilometres south-west of Peachland, and currently at a rank two or three, which means, among other things, that the flames are visible and moving.

There are airtankers along with helicopters aiding in the fight with seven initial fire-fighters on the ground and more on the way.

Wind is picking up near Peachland as firefighters continue to attack the blaze.

UPDATE: 5:48 p.m.

Kelowna Capital News reporter Kathy Michaels is in Peachland and has filed this video that illustrates the size of the blaze:.

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

The Finley Creek wildfire is currently 10 hectares in size and located 7.5 kilometres southwest of Peachland.

Air tankers are on site attacking the blaze and helicopters will continue to drop water after the tankers are finished, according to BC Wildfire Service information officer Rachel Witt.

According to reports, wind activity in the area is increasing the size of the blaze.

Currently, seven wildfire firefighters are on scene with an additional unit crew of approximately 20 firefighters on the way.

No structures are threatened at this time.

Original:

The BC Wildfire Service is currently responding to a fire in Peachland.

Witnesses reported the fire around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Capital News will update the story as more information becomes available.

 

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed