New addresses added to the wildfire evacuation alert in Oliver. (B.C. Wildfire Services)

New addresses added to the wildfire evacuation alert in Oliver. (B.C. Wildfire Services)

Eagle Bluff wildfire grows to 1260 hectares, more properties on alert

Firefighters are using small-scale hand ignitions on the blaze, which is currently moving downhill

UPDATE 8:18 p.m.

The Eagle Bluff wildfire is now at an estimated 1260 hectares as of Wednesday evening.

An evacuation alert has been extended to 41 additional properties in the McKinney Creek area after BC Wildfire and the Osoyoos Indian Band agreed on the decision due to potential changes in weather conditions.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is asking motorists to refrain from slowing down on Highway 97 to take photos or videos.

Residences under evacuation are listed on the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen website.

An update on the size of the wildfire has yet to be released by B.C. Wildfire Service.’

A planned hand-ignition conducted on the Eagle Bluff wildfire at the South end of Gallagher Lake was successful.

BC Wildfire will continue to monitor the blaze overnight with more than 100 personnel on site.

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UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

Crews are slowly pushing the wildfire at the south end of Gallagher Lake towards a dirt road, which will be used as a control line. According to BC Wildfire Service, intense heat continues to be a factor as firefighters use small hand-scale ignitions to control the wildfire.

There is no update at this time as to the current size of the blaze, which is currently moving down the slopes of Eagle Bluff, but the wildfire authority plans to release another update this evening around 7 or 8 p.m.

8:30 a.m.

BC Wildfire Service announced it is planning small-scale hand ignition operations for Wednesday on the southern edge of Gallagher Lake.

“This will remove the combustible fuels between the community and the fire perimeter. Increased smoke will be visible fromnearby communities,” reads a Tweet.

The Eagle Bluff Wildfire to the north of Oliver, B.C. is estimated to have grown to 900 hectares as of Tuesday night – more than double the 280 hectares previously estimated.

With the increased size of the fire, the Osoyoos Indian Band has likewise increased the range of its evacuation alert, expanding it beyond the 206 properties originally alerted Monday evening.

Properties now under an evacuation alert include an area in the Senkulmen Business Park in Oliver, with addresses on Enterprise Way and along Highway 97, as well as Tuc-el-nuit Drive. To see the full list of affected properties, and to see evacuation route maps, go to this updated evacuation notice.

B.C. Wildfire service says the increase in size is largely due to better mapping done on Tuesday evening, but did see some growth as well.

People under an evacuation alert are advised to pack essential items, prepare to take any pets and move livestock to a safe area if possible.

Further updates on the wildfire can be found here.

READ MORE: Wildfire in South Okanagan grows to 280 hectares


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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