There are so many North Okanagan blazes, firefighters can only tackle a handful right now
The BC Wildfire Service is dealing with more than 27 fires in what officials are calling the Monashee Complex, stretching from the Lumby, B.C. area to Three Valley Gap on the Trans Canada Highway.
However, they are only actively fighting a handful of them.
“As you can imagine, the province of B.C. is extremely busy with fires all over the province including adjacent to communities and so there just aren’t enough resources to man and put personnel on every fire,” incident commander Jane Park explained.
The fires in the Monashee Complex are lower on the priority list because they’re burning in remote areas and not threatening homes.
“The province of B.C. has higher priorities elsewhere and that’s where the resources should go,” said Park.
Regional priorities in the Monashee Complex include the 508-hectare, out-of-control Harris Creek Fire southeast of Lumby; a 332-hectare blaze east of Sugar Lake and a 1,861-hectare fire east of Mabel Lake.
All three fires are considered out of control.
Crews were also working on the 35-hectare Devil Creek Fire, which is posing unique challenges to firefighters.
“We’ve had a number of safety issues, in terms of, very large diameter trees that are falling and making it hazardous for crews,” Park said.
The blanket of smoke across the region is another challenge as low visibility often keeps helicopters grounded.
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