The cooler weather and some rain has helped in the battle against the Mount Law wildfire near West Kelowna.
B.C. Wildfire Service crews are building hand and machine guards around the fire today, Aug. 19, to keep it away from Highway 97C and homes along the south, east and north perimeters, according to a morning update. The fire is still classified as out of control and is around 800 hectares.
“The fire last night was visibly active, however it was still within proposed containment lines and it’s backing down the hill towards Highway 97C, the Okanagan Connector,” wildfire service fire information officer Luke Robinson said.
The wildfire is burning roughly one kilometre away from the highway at its closest point.
The wildfire service is looking at options for air tankers to drop retardant on the flanks of focus, but nothing has been confirmed yet this morning, Robinson said.
The cooler temperatures and higher humidity has been helpful for firefighters building containment lines and mopping up all the wildfires within the Okanagan Complex, Robinson said.
READ MORE: Most West Kelowna residents evacuated by Mount Law wildfire can return home
There are 46 firefighters, 11 pieces of heavy equipment, three helicopters and 34 support staff working the Mount Law wildfire today.
“We have 33 structural firefighters from six fire departments: West Kelowna, Sundre, Alta., Woss Lake, Pt. McNeill, North Cowichan, Willowbrook and 10 trucks and equipment on the fire lines today," West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund said in a press release.
"They’re continuing to extinguish hot spots and flare ups around homes within the fire perimeter in order to make the areas safe with the goal of eventually rescinding the evacuation order. BC Wildfire crews continue to action active fire areas on the hillsides with both air and ground support.”
Resources are being shared with other wildfires burning around the Okanagan Complex, including the Brenda Creek wildfire also near the Okanagan Connector, the Thomas Creek wildfire near Okanagan Falls and the Nk'Mip Creek near Oliver and Osoyoos.
One home was damaged and an out building was compromised as the blaze quickly grew in West Kelowna earlier this week. It also caused hundreds of Central Okanagan properties to be evacuated. Most residents have now returned home, but an evacuation alert remains in effect.
— This story was updated at 2:05 p.m., Aug. 19, 2021 to include a comment from fire chief Jason Brolund.
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