—By Matthew Abrey
Glen Burgess, incident commander for the Okanagan Wildfire Complex, held a press conference this afternoon, providing a quick update on wildfire activity in the Okanagan. Here are the highlights:
BC Wildfire has officially declared all fires on the West Kelowna side of the lake as “under control.”
“We’re at the point now where we’re starting to release our primary type 1 responders with contract crews, and begin to even demobilize certain sections of the fire, so pulling the hose lines and water systems.” said Burgess.
For the three fires on the other side of the lake within park boundaries, they are being managed using what Burgess called “modified response,” which essentially entails taking some limited suppression action to protect valuable areas including structures, homes and infrastructure within the park.
The Glenfir fire is being held at a steady size, and is not believed to be a threat to grow.
The Frederick Creek fire has been fairly active over the last couple days. “It didn’t actually burn a lot of area,” said Burgess. “It threw up a lot of smoke, and was burning some previously unburned fuels, and we used some skimmer aircraft in conjunction with ground crews this morning to try to catch the one little last piece of that one, which was in a wick of fuel up the hillside.”
The fire is not expected to ever be fully contained, but crews hope to reduce the smoke volume.
The Goode’s Creek fire continues to grow, with crews “working on containment to stop the spread.”
Crew safety continues to be a priority, with temperatures reaching 42 degrees celsius on-site yesterday.
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