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Mount Law wildfire: Still considered out of control, residents asked to be vigilant

Click to play video: 'Evacuated B.C. couple returns home, controlled ignitions to start at Mount Law wildfire' Evacuated B.C. couple returns home, controlled ignitions to start at Mount Law wildfire
Even though the Mount Law wildfire continues to burn out of control in West Kelowna's back country, evacuation orders for eight properties on Gates Road have been lifted – Aug 21, 2021

Flames from the Mount Law wildfire on Friday night were noticeable from kilometres away.

However, according to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire, burning on the western edge of West Kelowna, has seen no significant growth in the last 48 hours due to lower temperatures.

On Saturday, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations (CORE) said the blaze is visible from Highway 97C, adding “for the safety of travellers, motorists should not be stopping along the highway to observe or take photos of the wildfire and to allow crews to safely do their work.”

Read more: Mount Law wildfire: West Kelowna residents hold drive-by parade for firefighters

CORE also said “last night’s highly visible fire activity on the Mount Law fire is a reminder to all residents the fire is still considered out of control and residents need to continue to be vigilant.”

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The fire is currently estimated at 800 hectares – the same size it’s been since Monday.

“West Kelowna firefighters were out all night and will keep working aggressively today to fight the fire in tandem with the BC Wildfire Service, hitting the fire perimeter and monitoring hot spots,” said West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund.

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B.C. wildfire update: 1,528 fires so far this season – Aug 19, 2021

For Saturday, BC Wildfire said the plans include the possibility of planned ignitions, which may result in visible flames and smoke throughout the area.

BC Wildfire said planned ignitions are done to reduce heavy fuel loads between the fire and private property and a fireguard, in addition to its proximity to Highway 97C.

Brolund added that crews are continuing with fire suppression efforts.

“Residents in the area can expect to see smoke and burning materials throughout the next few days as the fire burns near the top of the mountain,” said Brolund, “but residents can be assured that West Kelowna crews, together with Peachland Fire Rescue, are closely monitoring conditions and will control the flare-ups as necessary.”

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In related news, CORE said an evacuation order affecting eight properties on Gates Road has been downgraded to an evacuation alert. The eight properties are 3658 to 3760 Gates Rd.

CORE said, “although weather conditions are helping crews, all other existing orders and alerts remain in place.”

A detailed map showing evacuation alerts and orders in the Central Okanagan is available on CORE’s website.

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Five more structures damaged from White Rock Lake wildfire, say officials – Aug 19, 2021

Including West Kelowna, Brolund said there are 33 structural firefighters, 10 trucks and equipment on the firelines.

“They’re continuing to extinguish hot spots and flare-ups around homes within the fire perimeter in order to make the areas safe with the goal of eventually rescinding the evacuation order,” said Brolund.

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“BC Wildfire crews continue to action active fire areas on the hillsides with both air and ground support.”

If residents witness any spot fires, they are asked to call 911 immediately.

Brolund also noted that the fire department is thankful for the generous support it is receiving. But he noted they are unable to accept donations of food or other supplies.

Instead,” he said, “we would really rather residents and property owners help us protect their properties by practicing fire-smart techniques.”

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