The Hedges Butte wildfire that’s burning in B.C.’s South Okanagan has roared to 230 hectares in size after being first reported Friday morning.
The blaze is located approximately 12 kilometres southwest of Penticton, along Green Mountain Road, and is classified as being out of control.
When the BC Wildfire Service first listed the fire and began fighting it, it was sized at 0.3 of a hectare, though that quickly grew to 10, 20 and then 50 hectares before reaching 100, then 230.
On Friday afternoon, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen issued an evacuation alert for 47 properties in Electoral Area I, southwest of the community of Farleigh Lake.
That was followed by an evacuation alert issued by the Penticton Indian Band for the following properties:
- 111 Big Valley Rd.
- 119 Big Valley Rd.
- 851 Shingle Creek North Pl.
- 795 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 791 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 111 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 101 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 105 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 121 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 279 Shingle Creek Rd.
- 1269 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1329 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1335 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1315 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1378 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1283 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1279 Green Mountain Rd.
- 1402 Green Mountain Rd.
Thirty firefighters and six helicopters are battling the blaze, along with help from air tankers.
“Skimmers also responded by dropping water from Skaha and Okanagan Lakes to cool the fire,” BC Wildfire said on Saturday.
“The extreme drought condition of the forest, coupled with increased winds, resulted in rapid growth of the fire through the day. Crews were on-site last night to monitor the fire through the night.”
BC Wildfire said crews will be on-site again Saturday, working upslope off Green Mountain Road, creating hand-guards for containment.
Planning for contingency guards is underway and heavy equipment will begin building machine guards. Helicopters will be used to bucket the fire throughout the day today, as required.
Also, motorists can expect delays along Green Mountain Road due to single-lane, alternating traffic.
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