Aggressive fire behaviour challenges crews

Five wildfires of note in the Kamloops Fire Centre call for additional resources as they continue to burn aggressively.

  • Jul. 18, 2014 3:00 p.m.

The Wildfire Management Branch is responding to an increase of fire activity within the region due to hot and dry conditions, with fires of note in the Merritt Fire Zone and the Penticton Fire Zone:

  • The Smith Creek wildfire near West Kelowna is now estimated at over 175 hectares in size. It was first reported this afternoon and the Wildfire Management Branch is working with the West Kelowna Fire Department to continue suppression efforts. There is an evacuation order in place issued by the Central Okanagan Regional District.
  • The Maka-Murray wildfire, west of Murray Lake, is now estimated at 400 hectares in size. Helicopters and ten fire fighters are responding to the wildfire. An Evacuation Order has been issued by the Thompson Nicola Regional District for an estimated 30 properties on the east side of Murray Lake.
  • The Apex wildfire is burning west of Penticton near Apex Mountain. This wildfire is estimated at 313 hectares and is 50 per cent contained. More than twenty crews are working to contain the fire. This fire is suspected to be person-caused.
  • The Jura wildfire, 5 km southeast of Missezula Lake, is currently estimated at 450 hectares. Although crews were previously withdrawn from the site due to safety concerns, twenty fire fighters and air tankers are responding to the incident today.
  • The Boot Hill wildfire is burning 30 km southwest of Penticton, near Lookout Mountain. The estimated size is 138 hectares and is now 30 per cent contained. Five fire fighters, two helicopters, and heavy equipment have been sent to the site, with additional resources scheduled to respond today.

Resources are being prioritized and utilized in areas where they can meet fire suppression objectives.

In order to minimize the possibility of additional person-caused fires, all campfires are prohibited throughout the entire Kamloops Fire Center. The prohibition will remain in place until the public is notified that it has been rescinded.

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions, and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website:www.bcwildfire.ca.