The Garrison Lake fire, burning out of control 32 km southwest of Princeton, is heating up, according to an update by BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) Thursday, July 12.
“Due to hot and dry weather and winds, fire activity is increasing in forested and replanted areas in the northern and northwestern sections of the fire,” states a release. “These areas are removed from communities and infrastructure.”
According to the BCWS, the blaze remains at an estimated 12,000 hectares and has not grown in the past few days.
“The fire could grow today, to the north and the west. Winds are forecasted to come from the north and northeast today, with afternoon gusts expected.”
According to the province the fire area closest to Highway 3 “remains stable and is fairly quiet.”
Also Thursday, July 12, an evacuation order for 65 properties and 12 land parcels was rescinded by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
The properties located on Airstrip Road, Rivers End Road, Towers Road and Highway 3 are now under evacuation alert, while at least another 60 properties remain under evacuation order.
Wildfire crews continue to suppress hotspots near East Gate on Highway 3, on the southern flank of the fire. A medium-sized helicopter is supporting their efforts by bucketing with water.
Suppression personnel are also eliminating hotspots at Sunday Summit on the northeastern flank of the fire. Industry partners continue to establish fireguard with heavy equipment across the northeastern and northern flanks in order to contain the fire.
Earlier this week Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne shared his concerns about fire pictures on line, creating a potential sense of panic in the community.
From some parts of Princeton, flames from the Garrison Lake fire have been visible at night.
“We have to remember when we are looking at these fires, and the pictures online specifically, these fires are still a long ways away,” he said.
“When we are posting pictures they can cause fear and panic in the community, when there is no immediate danger to the community.”
On the weekend the province established a restricted area around the fire.
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