BC Wildfire Service has called on 100 more ground crew and 19 more aircraft and heavy-duty equipment to assist in fighting the Eagle Bluff wildfire, 10 km southeast of Okanagan Falls.
The fire has reached 1,500 hectares and is expected to grow Thursday evening, but information officer Shannon Street says surprisingly growth may help clear some smoke from the terrain of the mountain, making it easier for fire crews to access the fire.
Street says depending on weather conditions, BC Wildfire crews will be conducting more small-scale hand planned ignitions on the wildfire from the southeast Mudd Lake area to the McKinney Road area, west of Manual Canyon.
“Crews conducted a controlled burn yesterday (Wednesday) focused on securing the west flank, if all goes well weather-wise, crews will be conducting another planned small-scale hand ignition,” said Street.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen estimates 250 homes are under an evacuation alert, meaning they could have to pick up and leave within a moment’s notice.
No new residences were added to the evacuation list as of Thursday morning. Residences under evacuation are listed on the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen website.
BC Wildfire Service is reminding people not to slow down to take pictures from Highway 97, and speed limits are reduced between Okanagan Falls and Oliver.
Street says BC Wildfire Service will have a more accurate update on the size of the fire Thursday evening.