UPDATE: Forecasted winds may pose threat as Christie Mountain Wildfire grows to 2,000 hectares

Photos submitted by Les ClarkePhotos submitted by Les Clarke
Mount Christie wildfire, Tuesday Aug. 18. Daniel Sltwg, FacebookMount Christie wildfire, Tuesday Aug. 18. Daniel Sltwg, Facebook
Photos submitted by Les ClarkePhotos submitted by Les Clarke
UPDATE: Forecasted winds may pose threat as Christie Mountain Wildfire grows to 2,000 hectares
UPDATE: Forecasted winds may pose threat as Christie Mountain Wildfire grows to 2,000 hectares

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.

The Christie Mountain wildfire has grown to an estimated 2,000 hectares, according to an update from BC Wildfire.

Rocky sloped terrain with limited access points created challenges for ground crews yesterday.

Crews and resources were challenged by the steep terrain as well as visibility issues.

Forecasted winds may pose a challenge this afternoon, said BC Wildfire’s most recent update. Winds are expected to be 20-40 kilometres per hour and gusting up to 70 kilometres per hour out of the south.

The City of Penticton will hold a press conference regarding the fire at the Penticton Lakeside Resort Conference Centre this afternoon at 1 p.m.

The City of Penticton has also activated a call centre through the Emergency Operations Centre to share accurate and timely information regarding the fire. Residents can reach the call centre by phoning 250-490-2345.

“As the situation continues to be fluid and can change rapidly, residents with questions about the impact of the wildfire in Penticton can reach out to the call centre for help,” said Penticton’s communication manager, Philip Cooper.

Residents affected by the evacuation alert are asked to stay calm and prepare to leave their homes, if required.

Due to the evolving nature of the wildfire situation, the call centre hours may fluctuate outside regular business hours.

— — —

UPDATE: 9 p.m

BC Wildfire will have 40 personnel, along with two water tenders, on-site of the Christie Mountain wildfire overnight.

Due to poor visibility in the afternoon on Wednesday (Aug. 19), the estimated size of the blaze will remain at 1,400 hectares.

According to BC Wildfire, fixed-wing airplanes were challenged by dense smoke and low visibility that made it difficult to combat the blaze.

BC Wildfire will not be providing anymore updates this evening.

A grass fire which broke out late Wednesday (Aug. 18) afternoon below Sendero Canyon has been extinguished by the Penticton Fire Department and does not present a risk to the community, stated a news release from the City of Penticton.

————-

UPDATE: 7:15 p.m.

The Christie Mountain wildfire remains at an estimated 1,400 hectares as of Wednesday (Aug. 19), evening.

According to BC Wildfire, the blaze is burning in difficult rocky sloped terrain, with limited access points for ground crews and heavy equipment.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is confirming the loss of one home at 176 Christie Mountain Lane, in Heritage Hills south of Penticton, due to the fire.

An evacuation order was put in place for this residence on Aug. 18, the homeowners have been notified of the loss.

BC Wildfire had 86 personnel on-site working with local fire departments earlier in the day.

Crews are working on the southwest flank of the fire to put in control lines to protect structures.

————-

UPDATE: 3:00 p.m.

At least one home has been lost due to the Mount Christie wildfire.

The house is reportedly on Christie Mountain Lake according to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

BC Wildfire is reporting the blaze is still estimated at 1,400 hectares in size.

There are 86 firefighters, nine helicopters on site along with local fire departments and structure protection personnel.

The blaze is burning as a vigorous surface fire with a moderate rate of spread.

Additional resources are arriving on the scene from various areas of the province.

For up-to-date information residents are asked to go to:

——————

UPDATE: 1:11 p.m.

Despite some media reports that one home has been lost, the City of Penticton and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) Emergency Services will not confirm a residence was destroyed in the Mounte Christie wildfire.

The RDOS is working with the District of Summerland to make arrangements for places to stay for evacuees.

“ESS is working on hotel accommodations and making arrangements to understand availability,” said Donny van Dyk, Penticton’s CAO.

In a 12:30 p.m press conference in Penticton, officials said they are working with cities as far away as Salmon Arm to ensure there is enough shelter space for those who have been forced from their homes.

A special alert is being issued to boaters on Skaha Lake amid the Christie Mountain Wildfire.

Air tankers responding to the nearby wildfire are collecting lake water to support their efforts. When aircraft are approaching lake surfaces for this purpose, it is requested that boaters refrain from operating water vessels in any portion of the lake where air tankers are refilling and maintain operational awareness of air craft in the area.

————-

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.

The Mount Christie wildfire is now an estimated 1,400 hectares in size; however, no homes have been lost as a result of the blaze.

The blaze sparked Tuesday afternoon, about 6 kilometres from Okanagan Falls, and strong winds quickly spread flames from 10 hectares to 1,000 by 10:30 p.m.

According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire is burning in difficult rocky sloped terrain with limited access points for ground crews and heavy equipment.

The growth on the fire is due to overnight winds and crews estimate the size of the fire could change once smoke begins to dissipate and the visibility in the area becomes clearer.

Fire activity is expected to increase as the day gets hotter; however wind is currently favourable and the blaze is moving in a southeasterly direction, away from Penticton.

There are 66 BC Wildfire personnel and seven helicopters on-site alongside local fire departments and structure protection personnel. Two more helicopters are en route and four water tenders continue to shuttle water to help with suppression efforts.

Additional resources will be arriving throughout the day.

An evacuation order remains in effect for 319 properties in the Heritage Hills area south of Penticton in Electoral Area “D” in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) due to the wildfire.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

The City of Penticton and the RDOS will be holding a press conference at 12:30 p.m.

—————

UPDATE: 8: 00 a.m.

The Mount Christie wildfire remains at 1,000 hectares despite increased fire activity overnight.

The blaze sparked Tuesday afternoon, about 6 kilometres from Okanagan Falls, and strong winds quickly spread flames from 10 hectares to 1,000 by 10:30 p.m.

BC Wildfire has 21 personnel on scene along with local fire departments and structure protection crews who are working to guard construction on the South flank of the fire.

The blaze did cause some challenges overnight as the fire is considered to be burning in Rank 3 behaviour, meaning there is an organized surface flame front with moderate rate of spread and is considered a vigorous surface fire.

The fire is burning in difficult rocky sloped terrain with limited access points for ground crews.

Additional resources will be arriving throughout the day on Wednesday.

The Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen has evacuated 319 homes in the Heritage Hills area near McLean Creek Road.

The Upper Carmi area was placed under an evacuation alert which affects 3,669 properties located within the southeast portion of Penticton.

The alert area includes properties within the following street boundaries.

  • Lakeside Road
  • South Main
  • Main Street
  • Industrial/Okanagan Avenue
  • Alison Street
  • Penticton Creek
  • Syer Road

The evacuation alert is being issued to prepare residents, businesses and visitors to evacuate their premises or property in the event an evacuation order is issued.

If your residence has been placed on an evacuation order, you’re asked to register at ess.gove.bc.ca or 199 Ellis Street in Penticton.

The emergency support services reception centre was closed at midnight and will reopen at 9 a.m.

Boaters on Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake are asked to stay out of the way of air tankers and watch for helicopters in the area that will be gathering water for the Mount Christie fire.

The Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department have been on scene since the fire started on Tuesday

According to firefighters for the department many areas of the blaze saw some beneficial wind direction overnight, and some good progress was made.

Aug 18, update: More than 3,000 properties on alert as Mount Christie wildfire grows to 1,000 hectares

Other wildfires in the Okanagan region:

bc wildfires

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