Wildfire crews gain upper hand on Similkameen blaze | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Wildfire crews gain upper hand on Similkameen blaze

The 400 hectare Richter Mountain wildfire is being held and producing little smoke as firefighters steadily gain the upper hand on the blaze, which broke out last Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / B.C. Wildfire

CAWSTON - South Similkameen residents are breathing more easily as the Richter Mountain wildfire is being held with no further growth expected.

B.C. Wildfire crews have gained the upper hand on the 400-hectare fire, which grew rapidly after its discovery last week.

Fire information officer Jody Lucius says firefighting efforts have benefitted from lighter winds and more consistent conditions in the last couple of days, enabling the 145 ground personnel to make good progress.

Plus it has been a much different fire season than experienced over the last couple of years, at least, so far.

“We are fortunate to have had the available personnel to assign to this fire. We’re in the position of not having a number of other significant fires burning in the province so we’ve been able to get a significant number of crew members out there,” she says.

"The last couple of years was a challenge to manage resources because of the size and number of fires burning in the province. The reduced number is helpful, for sure,” she says.

Lucius says ground crews have been working in some very steep terrain and hot conditions on the Richter Mountain fire. She says the initial aerial attack, concentrating helicopter bucketing on hot spots also helped to slow the fire’s growth.

The fire, located 14 km south of Cawston, is being held and is not expected to grow any further. The lightning-caused fire is being worked today, July 30, by six helicopters and heavy equipment in addition to the 145 ground personnel.

The fire is now also considered a smouldering ground fire and not producing a lot of smoke. Motorists utilizing Highway 3 between Osoyoos and Keremeos should be aware of possible debris on the road and proceed slowly through the fire zone.

Wildfire crews work to build a fireguard around the Richter Mountain wildfire.
Wildfire crews work to build a fireguard around the Richter Mountain wildfire.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / B.C. Wildfire

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019
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