Stress level around Christie Mountain fire falling, says Penticton mayor | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Stress level around Christie Mountain fire falling, says Penticton mayor

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki spears to reporters at a press conference Aug. 19 to update the community about the Christie Mountain wildfire.

Stress caused by the Christie Mountain fire has "gone down tenfold," Penticton's mayor said at a press briefing today, Aug. 23.

"I am on the south end (of the city) and I am under evacuation alert as well," Mayor John Vassilaki said today, Aug. 23,  adding he's getting phone calls from residents who are pleased to see the work that BC Wildfire has done in conjunction with other agencies to keep the fire under control.

While the mood may be lightening, the concern about the fire is still high enough that Penticton's fire chief Larry Watkinson said he won't know when evacuation alerts and orders will be lifted for a couple of days.  

Watkinson said the Christie Mountain fire is still growing in all directions, but the threat to homes and businesses is now "pretty limited."

His crew of 25 ia currently maintaining and evaluating the safety of the homes in the fire's way, making sure they're cool. They're sussing out and dealing with hotspots in the subdivisions and around decks, fire-smarting homes for ember transplants and making sure the sprinklers are working.

The firefight on the mountainside, he said, is with air and ground assault and involving 150 to 200 people. It, he said, is challenging.

There's mixed fuel in the area the fire has travelled — rocky bluffs mixed with heavy timber.

Once it travels into the heavy timber area, it will be more extreme.

The size of the blaze now been updated as per the aerial track completed earlier today and is listed at 2,035 hectares.

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