Two fires approx. 20km east of OK Falls. (BC Wildfire Service)

Solco Creek fire east of Okanagan Falls grows to nearly 14 hectares

Both fires were under two hectares in size as of Thursday night, neither threatening structures

UPDATE: Aug. 1, 2:04 p.m.

The Solco Creek fire is now estimated to be 13.8 hectares (ha) in size.

The status of the blaze remains out of control, crews are on scene with two pieces of heavy machinery, creating a fuel-free perimeter around the fire.

“Currently it is smouldering and has little to no open flame,” said Fire Information Officer Gagan Lidhran, adding a fire guard has been established around 25 per cent of the blaze.

Firefighters are also applying water to the perimeter of the fire to help suppress the heat in the event that it spreads further.

“We’re still between 12 to 4 p.m.—that’s the hottest part of the day and that’s also when the fuels are the driest—so we’re trying to get on top of it and ensure that there is no growth from that period onward,” Gagan said.

The Kilmer Creek fire remains held and under control at 1.10 ha.

A total of 14 blazes are active across the Kamloops Fire Centre on Friday evening. All are suspected to have been caused by lightning aside from the Solco Creek blaze, which does not yet have a determined cause according to BC Wildfire Service. Twelve of the fires are estimated to be 0.01 ha in size.

_ _ _ _

UPDATE: 11:38 p.m.

The Kamloops Wildfire Centre is reporting the Solco Creek blaze is an estimated 8 hectares in size and still burning out-of-control.

On Friday (July 31), there was five BC Wildfire personnel on scene, as well as five air tankers and heavy equipment.

Fire Information Officer Gagan Lidhran stated the cause is currently not known.

According to Lindhran, there will be 40 personnel on scene along with two helicopters and heavy equipment as of Saturday morning.

She explained there is good access to water for the helicopters to bucket onto the fire.

Lindhran couldn’t comment on the six other fires sparked in the region on Friday evening.

————————-

UPDATE: July 31, 9:17 p.m.

The Solco Creek fire is now estimated to be five hectares (ha) in size.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The Kilmer Creek fire remains held and under control at 1.10 ha.

July 31, 10:04 a.m.

Two wildfires are burning approximately 20 kilometres east of Okanagan Falls.

Neither is threatening any structures at this time.

Fire Information Officer Gagan Lidhran says crews are on scene attacking the blazes.

The Kilmer Creek fire, discovered on July 29, is estimated at a size of 1.10 hectares (ha) and is classified as being held. The BC Wildfire Service doesn’t anticipate any further spread of this fire. One attack crew from the BC Wildfire Service, as well as an eight-person contract crew, is on-site. The cause is still undetermined or unknown.

The Solco Creek fire, just southeast of Kilmer Creek, is new and considered out of control at 1.5 ha as of last night. This fire was discovered on July 30. Crews are on scene today (July 31) assessing the fire.

There is a 20-person unit crew on scene, supported by a helicopter dropping water.

Last night, three tankers dropped retardant on the fire to help suppress it.

This fire is still developing and more information will be available on it in the coming days.

Both fires are just inside an extreme fire rating zone. The majority of the South Okanagan is either in a high danger rating zone or extreme.

Updates on these fires will be posted as they progress. There are currently ten active fires in the province.

The majority of the South Okanagan is included in a high fire danger rating zone (orange), or an extreme zone (red). (BC Wildfire Service)

READ MORE: Province to install highway barriers between Penticton, Summerland

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@PentictonNews
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