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All evacuation alerts rescinded for Hedges Butte and Skaha Creek wildfires

Click to play video: 'Hedges Butte out-of-control wildfire at 230 hectares' Hedges Butte out-of-control wildfire at 230 hectares
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 – Sep 4, 2021

Both the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Penticton Indian Band rescinded their evacuation alerts for the Hedges Butte and Skaha Creek wildfires on Sunday afternoon.

The Hedges Butte blaze, 12 kilometers southwest of Penticton, was discovered on Friday morning near Green Mountain Rd.

It quickly grew, burning uphill a few hundred meters away from structures below the road, and prompting evacuation alerts.

Read more: Hedges Butte out-of-control wildfire at 230 hectares

However, growth on the 236-hectare blaze has since stalled.

BC Wildfire Service said fire growth was minimal on Saturday and the blaze did not grow overnight.

Joe Lax, who is in charge of firefighting operations on the Okanagan Complex of fires, said there was minimal open flame Sunday morning and the visible smoke was “mostly internal within containment lines.”

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He was not expecting growth of the fire on Sunday or any substantial increase in fire behaviour throughout the day.

Read more: ‘Minimal’ activity expected Sunday at Skaha Creek and Hedges Butte wildfires

Lax said the fire was “well secured” on the south flank where it initially started and where it is within a few hundred meters of structures.

However, crews were still working on containment lines on the blaze, with firefighters putting in a handguard on the steeper east flank.

The Hedges Butte fire was still considered out of control as of Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, after containing the Skaha Creek fire with guards and roads, officials upgraded its status from “out-of-control” to “being held” on Sunday.

That means the blaze is not expected to grow outside existing guards.

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Lax said there was not much open flame and minimal smoke on the 236-hectare Skaha Creek blaze on Sunday morning and those conditions were expected to help firefighters make further progress on the blaze.

The Skaha Creek fire sparked more than a week ago six kilometers southwest of Penticton.

Click to play video: 'New wildfire near Penticton causing concern' New wildfire near Penticton causing concern
New wildfire near Penticton causing concern – Aug 30, 2021

– with files from Doyle Potenteau

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