Terrain and fuels continue to challenge crews working the Nk'Mip Creek fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Terrain and fuels continue to challenge crews working the Nk'Mip Creek fire

The Nk'Mip wildfire near Osoyoos.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Wildfire
July 24, 2021 - 2:00 PM

Terrain and fuel conditions have been challenging for crews attacking the Nk'Mip Creek fire but progress is being made nonetheless, BC Wildfire representatives said during a Saturday briefing.

The focus of the firefight today is structure protection in the north, around the Osoyoos Indian Band lands as well as Shirke, and as down in the south near Anarchist Mountain near Osoyoos, said Jane Parks, BC Wildfire's Nk'Mip Creek fire's incident commander.

"We're working currently on the west flank along Nk'Mip road, hot-spotting and looking at some of the cat work that we're doing," she said. "Then we're also starting to implement and construct cat guards to both the south and the east of the fire. The fire has been quite active throughout the day and so we've had crews working overnight to protect structures and to try to keep it within our containment line and it's been quite challenging in terms of both the terrain, as well as the fuel conditions."

Crews are making some progress around several of the flanks and they are hoping to continue to protect structures.

The fire is currently mapped at 6,800 hectares and being fought with 146 personnel. Those numbers are anticipated to be bolstered with Mexican firefighters that are arriving today.

In the meantime, it continues to threaten homes and concerns were raised last week about people who were flouting evacuation orders. Park said today people have largely been cooperative.

"Anytime we do have any issues with closed roads or (people) hindering our operations, we have been able to call the local RCMP to assist us, in allowing us to get our work done," she said.

Park also said that if people want to give to firefighters, the preference is they reach out to local charitable organizations that are supporting the evacuees or contact the local regional districts.

"We do have most of the resources that we need for the fire and so we do very much appreciate the gesture to want to donate, but it probably would be better served to donate to those who are affected locally in terms of the evacuation centres and emergency social services," she said.

While this fire remains a significant challenge today, there is was some good longterm news.

Some of B.C.'s fires tend to burn well into the winter, getting deep into trees and heavy vegetation but that's not the case with the Nk'Mip fire.

"Given the nature of the fuels here there's not a lot of deep organic layers on this fire, in a lot of the places that are burning, so isn't necessarily holding over that deep," she said.

"However, it is starting to burn into places with heavier timber so you know there's potential in places that have deep organic layers where things can holdover in these conditions, but a lot of the area of this fire has fairly shallow vegetation — with sage brush and grass — but definitely there's potential in areas with heavier fuel."



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