The Mount Gottfriedsen wildfire has exploded in size, growing from 100 hectares on Thursday afternoon to 550 hectares on Friday morning.
“The fuel and wind yesterday, and those high temperatures and low humidity led to perfect burning conditions,” B.C. Wildfire Service information officer Brenna Ward said of the fire near the Pennask Summit on Highway 97C. “It is very aggressive fire behaviour and fast spreading.”
The wind-driven fire, with lightning being the suspected cause, is expected to grow today through forestry cut blocks. Ground crews, heavy equipment and air support are battling the fire.
“It is dense timber, some matures trees and some dead trees,” said Ward.
The fire is listed as being 24 kilometres west of West Kelowna.
On Thursday evening, an evacuation alert was issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Though the fire is considered remote, there are many lakes, cabins and camping areas in the area. The alert covers Pennask Lake, Mellin Lake, Barton Lake and Eileen Lake.
A TNRD spokesperson said there are no known permanent residences in the area; just recreational and camping places.