August 14, 2019 4:10 pm
Updated: August 15, 2019 1:09 am

UPDATED: BC Wildfire Service postpones planned burn for Eagle Bluff wildfire

A BC Wildfire Service firefighter performs a planned ignition at the Eagle Bluff wildfire on Aug. 8. On Wednesday, BCWS said more scheduled burns are planned.

BC Wildfire Service

A planned ignition scheduled for the Eagle Bluff blaze burning near Oliver has been postponed.

BC Wildfire Service was hoping to start scheduled burns along the wildfire’s northeast flank if conditions were favourable. However, it said that after the rain on Tuesday, forest fuels were too wet to conduct a successful burn.

Approximately 47 firefighters are expected to remain at the blaze overnight.

The fire is currently estimated at 2,632 hectares and is located in steep terrain approximately five kilometres northeast of Oliver.

BC Wildfire Service firefighters battling the Eagle Bluff wildfire at night on Aug. 11.

BC Wildfire Service

READ MORE: Eagle Bluff wildfire has province restricting areas to the public

The fire was first spotted on Aug. 4 and exploded in size, quickly growing to 200 hectares in 24 hours, then to 1,500 hectares by Aug. 8.

While the blaze has not grown since, it is still listed as being out of control. There are 149 firefighters on scene, along with nine helicopters and 24 pieces of heavy equipment.

WATCH BELOW (Aug. 9, 2019): The Eagle Bluff wildfire is expected to continue to grow over the weekend.

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“These planned ignition operations will allow crews to safely create a controlled, fuel-free area ahead of the fire to prevent it spreading further, as local weather conditions become warmer and drier this week,” said BCWS.

It added that the scheduled burns will only occur if weather and venting conditions are favourable. If they do take place, smoke will likely be visible from nearby communities, including Oliver, Penticton and Osoyoos.

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In the meantime, BC Wildfire said crews are taking advantage of the current weather conditions to complete an indirect attack line.

“This means the crews will be building guard in areas where the fire has not yet burned,” said BCWS, “so that once the planned ignition occurs, the fire can be brought toward a control line on their own terms.”

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