UPDATE: Brenda Creek wildfire 'less vigorous' overnight, mapped at 480 hectares | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Brenda Creek wildfire 'less vigorous' overnight, mapped at 480 hectares

The Brenda Creek wildfire, July 14, 2021.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Service
July 18, 2021 - 11:33 AM

BC Wildfire is planning for a small ignition of around 30 hectares later today at the Brenda Creek wildfire.

They say it will "solidify and strengthen guards" on the west side of the fire, which remains out of control but is smaller than originally stated.

Burning 40 kilometres from West Kelowna and south of the Okanagan Connector, the fire is now mapped at 480 hectares, according to BC Wildfire’s latest update.

“Crews reported less vigorous fire activity on site yesterday and overnight,” reads the update. 

They also say the size decrease from the previously posted 500 hectares is due to a more accurate track of the fire yesterday.

This fire has remained a concern for reasons that extend beyond structures and trees. On July 16 the fire burned over or under the transmission line that supplies power to roughly 65,000 people in Peachland and West Kelowna.

Since West Kelowna’s incorporation, council has been urging the province and B.C. Hydro to build another power line to the area, as there would be a significant impact to the community if a wildfire or mudslide were to take the line out, Mayor Gord Milsom said earlier this week. The current transmission line runs from Merritt to a substation near Shannon Lake.

“Right now if the power went out for an extended period of time, there wouldn’t be any energy to run air conditioning and with the heat wave that’s occurring now, that could have a dramatic impact on people’s health. There wouldn't be power to operate medical devices or run healthcare facilities,” he said.

While the imminent threat passed a couple of days ago, Dag Sharman, B.C. Hydro community relations manager for the Southern Interior noted fires are unpredictable and crews are standing by at the ready if the power line is affected.

As crews get on top of the fire, an area restriction for the vicinity of the Brenda Creek wildfire was implemented yesterday. The size of the area restriction reflects the continued need to protect the public in areas where there are ongoing fire suppression activities. This order will remain in place until noon on Oct. 15 or until it is rescinded. This order applies to Crown land within the geographic boundaries shown on the map posted online.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has issued an Evacuation Order for 43 properties in Electoral Area "H." An Evacuation Alert has also been issued for Eneas Lakes, Pennask Lake, Trepanier, and Pennask Creek provincial parks. Contact the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for more information.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued an Evacuation Alert for three properties located in Electoral Area "M." Please contact the Thompson-Nicola Regional District for more information.  The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued an Evacuation

Alert for properties, three recreational camping areas and Crown land within West Electoral Area, south of Highway 97C and northwest of Peachland. Please contact the Regional District Central Okanagan for more information. 

Working the fire are 23 firefighters, two helicopters, 11 heavy equipment and 18 additional staff, including a BCWS Incident Management Team. Six firefighters remained on site overnight.

—updated at 1:45 p.m. to add information about a controlled burn


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