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First big wildfire of the season in South Okanagan

Smoke from the 20-hectare wildfire burning on the Osoyoos Indian Reserve can be seen.
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April 12, 2014 - 2:14 PM

OSOYOOS – Smoke from a wildfire burning north of Osoyoos Lake on Indian Band land can be seen and smelt in both Osoyoos and Oliver Saturday.

The fire has grown to over 20-hectares since it was spotted Friday night about 7 km north of Osoyoos.

Wildfire Management sent out a helicopter before dark to douse a power pole with water, the only valuable piece of infrastructure threatened by the blaze.

There are currently 10 firefighters and 2 officers working the blaze.

“Crews are working the south flank of the fire to put in some guard and burn back from that area just to create a fuel free guard,” fire information officer Kayla Pepper. “They are trying to steer the fire up toward rocks which will act as a natural guard to stop the fire from spreading.

The fire has nothing to do the prescribed burn underway for the last couple of weeks on Osoyoos reserve land, according to Pepper.

“It’s an active ground fire with open flame and trees that have been candling. It’s thick under brush with moderately spaced out trees.”

Pepper tells InfoTel News the wildfire won’t be out for a couple of days so, “people can expect to see smoke throughout Osoyoos and Oliver from this fire.”

The volume of smoke is expected to rise Saturday afternoon as the heat of the sun increases the fire intensity and the back burning forestry crews are doing continues.

Crews have been able to access the fire by road.

The cause is under investigation but Pepper adds they suspect it was person cause.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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