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Eagle Bluff Wildfire grows to more than 3,000 hectares in Osoyoos

The fire saw growth overnight but some evacuation orders and hundreds of alerts rescinded
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Air crews were busy dropping retardant on the flanks of the Eagle Bluff Wildfire on the edge of Osoyoos on July 30. The wildfire has now grown to more than 3,000 hectares, as of Tuesday, Aug. 1. (Melissa Genberg - Facebook)

Although the Eagle Bluff Wildfire in Osoyoos has grown to more than 3,000 hectares, several evacuation orders and hundreds of alerts were rescinded on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 1.

Around 500 evacuated residents got to go home on Monday, with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen lifting additional evacuation orders on Tuesday.

There are a total of 191 properties currently on order, with 48 of those located within the town of Osoyoos.

The RDOS also rescinded evacuation alerts for more than 1,600 properties.

A total of 969 properties remain on evacuation alert, according to Erick Thompson from the RDOS’ Emergency Operations Centre.

Properties remaining under evacuation order include the Osoyoos Industrial Park in the Town of Osoyoos.

The cross-border wildfire is still listed as “out of control” and is estimated to be 3,044 hectares in size, up from 1,450 ha the day before.

Shaelee Stearns, information officer at BC Wildfire Service, says 50 firefighters and 65 structure protection personnel were responding to the fire on Tuesday.

Along with six helicopters, there are 10 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to assist in attacking the blaze.

Stearns says there was “limited growth” overnight along the east flank of the fire, the side closest to the town of Osoyoos.

“A majority of the activity we have been seeing is along the west flank and northwest corner of the wildfire,” Stearns added.

BCWS crews are continuing to work with incident management teams from south of the border, the fire information officer added.

Officials said Tuesday that crews will be working off Highway 3 and moving toward the west flank, the side responsible for most of the fire’s growth overnight.

BC Wildfire Service is expecting to see dry conditions on Tuesday, with a southwest flow of wind being the main concern overnight.

Osoyoos mayor Sue McKortoff on Tuesday said the fire hasn’t impacted tourist season. Local hotels and motels remain open.

She also urged those using Osoyoos Lake not to impede the assigned helicopters that are using resources from the water.

“To our residents and businesses who have been affected by the fire, we would like to offer you our continued support and thank you for your cooperation as we continue to deal with this wildfire and smoke,” the mayor of Osoyoos said.

The fire was discovered in Oroville, Wash. on Saturday afternoon, July 29.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 1, the fire is estimated to be more than 6,200 hectares south of the border.

READ MORE: ‘It’s good to be home’ Evacuation orders lifted for 540 Osoyoos properties

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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