UPDATE: The Mt. Boucherie Interface Fire is now 100 per cent guarded according to a press release from the District of West Kelowna. Investigators have determined the fire was human-caused, ruling out any natural causes.
The lastest approach to fighting what remains of the blaze is to lay a hose from the bottom of the mountain to the top allowing firefighters to attack hot spots active along the south side of the fire. Two treefallers are removing danger trees ahead of fire crews working within the peremiter.
There are 13 West Kelowna Fire Rescue fightfighters still on scene.
WEST KELOWNA - Firefighters have a 4.24 hectare fire on Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna under control this morning.
West Kelowna Fire Rescue and B.C. Wildfire will remain on scene today putting out hot spots and reinforcing fire guards and searching for a cause of the fire. Fire officials urge residents to be extremely careful with any materials that may cause a fire and a campfire ban begins at noon today across the Central Okanagan.
The fire started Tuesday at 3 p.m. Firefighters had the brush fire contained and set up a guard around 30 per cent by the evening. Residents are still asked to avoid east Boundary Road in West Kelowna.
A total of 50 emergency personnel attended the fire along with a bucket helicopter, two air tankers and a birddog from B.C. Wildfire. A layer of retardant was dropped around the fire to help contain it.
The rank three fire (visible to the public with some open flame) was called in at 3:03 p.m. July 15 and moved up the mountain, running along a ridge, pushed by wind to an estimated just over four ha.
No structures were threatened and no evacuations were ordered because of the fire which was in rugged parkland.
RCMP were on scene to block traffic on Mount Boucherie Road between Daimler and Elk Roads. Motorists along Highway 97 were stopping to look at the fire, putting themselves and others at further risk, according to an RCMP press release. Mounties requested drivers maintain a safe distance from the scene and to stop pulling vehicles over on the roadside. Boaters were also being asked to stay out of the way of helicopters filling buckets on Okanagan Lake.
An emergency operations centre was activated to support the emergency response and staff are in contact with other response agencies to manage the fire and minimize impacts.
The Regional District asked the public to stop calling 911 to report the fire.
Emergency response personnel request that the public:
- Monitor cordemergency.ca for confirmed information about the situation.
- DO NOT CALL 911 unless it's a life threatening emergency
- Remain calm
- Stay by the phone to receive a call if a family member(s) may have been impacted.
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— This story was updated at 8:12 a.m. with information about the fire in mop up stage.
— This story was updated at 9:27 p.m. with information from a press release that 30 per cent of the fire is under guard.
— This story was updated to include details from an RCMP press release and a press release from the RDCO.
— This story was updated at 4:59 p.m., July 15 with additional details from the regional district.
— This story was updated at 5:28 p.m., July 15 noting the fire is now contained.
— This story was updated at 5:45 p.m., July 15 with new photos.