BC Wildfire Service has determined that lightning is the suspected cause of the Christie Mountain wildfire, which is currently estimated at 2,122.5 hectares in size.
The wildfire, which was discovered on Aug. 18, forced the evacuation of many homes.
The Western News was notified of a rumour amongst some nearby residents that the fire was human caused. Allegedly some locals witnessed a group of individuals come running out of a ravine, hop into vehicles and drive away, near to the time when the fire was discovered.
Penticton RCMP has since confirmed that the group was identified and checked as they came down the hill by police, and it was presumed at the time the fire was not human caused. An update by BC Wildfire on Aug. 31 confirmed this.
Eleven BC Wildfire crew members have been assigned to mop up a small excursion, or ‘acceptable enlargement’ of the fire which requires minimum suppression efforts.
The fire status remains as ‘being held’, meaning sufficient suppression action has been taken that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing or predetermined boundaries, under current weather conditions.
All previous evacuations have been rescinded.
The wildfire services is reminding residents and visitors to remain out of the restricted area, which includes the Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park and surrounding areas.
This comes as an increased number of people have been attempting to access parks and trails in the vicinity of the Christie Mountain wildfire.