Visiting firefighters return home after calmer winds on Christie Mountain wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Visiting firefighters return home after calmer winds on Christie Mountain wildfire

The Christie Mountain wildfire, Aug. 22.
Image Credit: Steve Arstad
August 22, 2020 - 12:23 PM

Penticton firefighters will continue structure protection efforts today, Aug. 22,  but after calmer than expected wind on the Christie Mountain Fire, other firefighters are heading home.

Roughly 110 firefighters have been sent back to their home jurisdictions, said Larry Watkinson, Penticton fire chief, during a press conference Aug. 22.

Fire crews continue to perform structure protection work in the upper east side of the city and into the Carmi area, he said.

Firefighters feel confident the fire is not threatening to structures in Penticton, but firefighters are still working on areas where homes may be threatened in the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen area.

“We were very fortunate with the wind event, it was quite vigorous on Penticton (but) it was soft on the fire,” Watkinson said.

Firefighters were concerned with the amount of old growth in the city with the amount of sparks, but the fire didn't move into the community as it burned through new growth from  previous fire, said.

The BC Wildfire Service, City of Penticton and Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen gave an update on the status of the Christie Mountain wildfire during a press conference, Aug. 22.

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki commended the response of residents, and have spoken to residents currently under the evacuation alert. Residents have been packing emergency kits, pre-registering for evacuee status and creating plans.

There’s been a reduction of people watching from the side of the road and less people have been seen on Skaha Lake, he said.

“I’ve been delighted to hear the expressions of gratitude and offers of support to our firefighters,” he said, adding that with COVID-19 there is a limited ability to accept donations.

“Please stay safe and please stay vigilant with your planning and preparation,” he said.

Nicole Bonnett, information officer with BC Wildfire Service, said the fire is still estimated at 2,000 hectares with an additional growth around 35 hectares since last night.

At 12 p.m. yesterday an area order restriction was put in place for the Christie Mountain wildfire so residents are not able to enter the area, she said.


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