Expect more smoke from Skaha Creek wildfire near Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Expect more smoke from Skaha Creek wildfire near Penticton

The Skaha Creek wildfire as seen from the West Bench in Penticton on the evening of Aug. 30, 2021.
Image Credit: Dan Walton
September 01, 2021 - 10:54 AM

Expect to see more smoke coming from the Skaha Creek wildfire near Penticton today, but just like yesterday it will mostly come from the suppression efforts of B.C. Wildfire Service crews.

“Crews are planning and ignition around 19 hectares in the southeast corner, it will be visible from Penticton, and people will likely see increased smoke if that occurs,” fire information officer Roslyn Johnson said today, Sept. 1.

In order for the ignition to take place, wind conditions must co-operate, the area cannot have too much, and crews have to ensure they are adequately prepared.

Yesterday, near the northeast corner of Skaha Creek, a five-hectare ignition took place.

“That brought fire down to guard where crews could safely access it and complete their suppression,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: Missing man found after wandering for days in White Rock Lake fire zone

Asked why skimmer planes are collecting water from Okanagan Lake instead of Skaha Lake, which is closer to the fire, Johnson said there are a number of reasons.

Skaha is where helicopters have been filling their buckets and the wildfire service wants separate airspace for its fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

Also, too much traffic on the lake could hinder takeoffs and landings at the nearby Penticton Regional Airport, and keeping the runway clear is especially important for the B.C. Wildfire pilots who are using it.

And finally, water bombers require a certain amount of clearance to lift such heavy amounts of water to the altitude where the fire is burning.

“Okanagan Lake  presented a better area to make that climb,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: RCMP closed some launches in Penticton after boaters interfered with skimmer aircraft

There has been no new growth on the fire since yesterday which remains at 212 hectares.

There are 79 personnel working the fire in the morning and then 13 more added in the afternoon along with 15 pieces of heavy equipment, nine helicopters throughout the Okanagan complex, and air tankers and skimmers if necessary.

Crews continue chipping away at the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire between Oliver and Osoyoos. At 20,066 hectares, it hasn’t reported any new growth in weeks, but Johnson said there is still more work to do.

With hunting season about to begin, the wildfire service issued a reminder that hunting is off limits within the restricted area around Nk’Mip wildfire.

There are 61 personnel and nine pieces of heavy equipment allocated to fight the Nk'Mip Creek fire.

Crews are reporting good progress at the Mt. Law wildfire, which is burning at 976 hectares and is also off-limits for hunting. It’s being dealt with by 72 personnel and four pieces of heavy equipment.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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