UPDATE: Wildfire south of Penticton grows to 250 Ha; evacuations ordered | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Wildfire south of Penticton grows to 250 Ha; evacuations ordered

Updated photo of Mount Christie wildfire that broke out this afternoon, Aug 18, 2020, taken 6 p.m. Aug. 18.
August 18, 2020 - 6:59 PM

A wildfire that broke out in the hills northeast of Heritage Hills and Lakeshore Highlands around 2 p.m. this afternoon, Aug. 18, continues to grow.

An evacuation order has been issued for 319 properties by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen this afternoon, Aug. 18.

An evacuation order means residents must evacuate their properties.

A complete list of properties affected can be found at the regional district website. It's poor timing for the regional district, however, because its website has been impaired by a recent ransomware attack and may be difficult to access. If you can't access the regional district website, click here. 

The fire is burning in a gulley on the steep slope of Mount Christie, east of Skaha Lake, around six kilometres south of Penticton.

Information officer Nicole Bonnet says the fire has grown to 250 ha in size as of early this evening. B.C. Wildfire is calling it a fire of note, and has multiple fixed-wing aircraft and ground personnel on site.

Bonnet says ground crews are being hampered by steep terrain and difficult access.

Air tankers are actioning a wildfire south of Penticton this afternoon, Aug. 18, 2020.
Air tankers are actioning a wildfire south of Penticton this afternoon, Aug. 18, 2020.

Air tankers and amphibious aircraft are actioning the blaze, which has grew rapidly this afternoon as it was fed by south winds.

The Regional District of South Okanagan Similkameen is monitoring public messaging via Facebook and Twitter to advise boaters to avoid the area to allow crews to work.

No cause for the fire has been established.

- This story was updated at 3:30 p.m.  at 4:10 p.m. at 5 p.m. at 5:45 p.m and again at 6:45 p.m., Aug. 18 to add new fire information about the fire, an evacuation order for residents in the area, and updated information from B.C. Wildfire.


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