Nk'Mip Creek wildfire's progress toward Baldy Mountain resort halted | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Nk'Mip Creek wildfire's progress toward Baldy Mountain resort halted

The Nk'Mip Creek wildfire, Aug. 15, 2021.
Image Credit: TWITTER/BC Wildfire Service
August 17, 2021 - 11:47 AM

The Nk’Mip Creek wildfire did not make any additional progress toward Baldy Mountain Resort after coming within 2.5 kilometres yesterday.

The fire jumped a containment guard during strong winds Sunday evening and was just two kilometres south of Mt. Baldy’s peak. Weather conditions became more favourable yesterday and flames had not gotten any closer to the resort as of this morning, Aug. 17.

“The weather was the primary factor in holding it back,” BC Wildfire Service fire information officer Luke Robinson said. “Today’s cooler weather is also helping out crews.”

Assigned to Nk’Mip Creek today, estimated at 20,066 hectares, are 219 firefighters including 96 Mexican firefighters, 11 structural protection personnel, 34 support staff, 37 pieces of heavy equipment and seven helicopters.

READ MORE: Misinformation about B.C. Interior wildfire season on the rise

At Thomas Creek wildfire between Penticton and Okanagan Falls is also benefitting from cooler weather, and the wildfire service reported “extremely benign fire behaviour” yesterday.

Asked what it will take for the Thomas Creek wildfire to be reclassified from out-of-control to held, Robinson said there is still a significant amount of work for crews to do.

Beyond the mop up work needed throughout its 11,771 hectares, there is steep section near the northern end of the fire where safety is a concern for crews and heavy machinery cannot be used.

“We’re letting it slowly come down to a guard line," Robinson said.

That steep section is in a safe area to monitor, but crews can’t allows let fires burn themselves out, even when they are far from communities. Robinson said a lot of planning is required to execute planned ignitions, and on Crown land there are still grazing lands, fence lines and infrastructures that have to be taken into account. 

Thomas Creek is being taken care of by 77 firefighters including 62 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, 34 support staff, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and four helicopters.

The Okanagan complex, which manages both Nk’Mip and Thomas Creek wildfires, is also sharing manpower and equipment with the Mt. Law wildfire, which is burning between Peachland and West Kelowna.

It is still too soon to know if Mt. Law will be assigned to the Okanagan complex, Robinson said. However, the Brenda Creek wildfire is within the same complex and it is located farther from the headquarters in Oliver. The status of Brenda Creek has remained as held since Aug. 5.

READ MORE: Leap in B.C. wildfire activity prompts many more evacuation orders, alerts

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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