UPDATE: 40 personnel on scene overnight of 1,400 hectare Christie Mountain wildfire

Photos submitted by Les Clarke
Mount Christie wildfire, Tuesday Aug. 18. Daniel Sltwg, Facebook
Photos submitted by Les Clarke

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.

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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:

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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.

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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 in Penticton, 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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