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Trio of wildfires prompts reminder to stay vigilant: BC Wildfire

Click to play video: 'Trio of wildfires prompts reminder to stay vigilant: BC Wildfire'
Trio of wildfires prompts reminder to stay vigilant: BC Wildfire
Trio of wildfires prompts reminder to stay vigilant: BC Wildfire – Jul 27, 2022

There have been three wildfire fires burning close to South Okanagan towns in less than one week. The first of the trio sparked just outside Penticton.

The Mount Nkwala fire broke out Monday afternoon but was quickly quenched by first responders.

“We have had good initial attacks on smaller fires recently, which is a good sign our crews were able to get the fires out quickly,” said Kamloops Fire Centre Information Officer Mikhail Elsay.

On Tuesday a wildfire, believed to be lightning-caused, sparked just outside of Okanagan Falls. That fire, dubbed Mount Hawthorne grew to 1.4 hectares.

Read more: Fire activity expected to increase as extreme heat takes over Okanagan

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And only 800 metres away from the Mount Hawthorne fire, a spot fire ignited on Wednesday.

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“The Mount Hawthorne fire was discovered [Tuesday night] and crews have started working on it earlier this morning. They’re currently being supported with a helicopter and two initial attackers are also working out working on that fire this time,” said Elsay.

With the extreme heat, BC Wildfire Service says there could be more fires in the near future.

“The warmer weather is definitely a concern. Obviously the hotter and drier it is the more aggressive fire burns, the easier it is for fires to ignite,” said Elsay.

The fire danger rating throughout the Okanagan is now high and expected to reach extreme in some areas over the next couple of days.

As we approach a hot long weekend, fire officials are reminding residents and visitors to stay vigilant.

“We just want to remind the public to be very careful with their campfires. There is no campfire ban for this weekend so, if people are choosing to have a campfire, please make sure that you have the appropriate tools and up to eight litres of water at the site of their fire,” added Elsay.

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Although there are no campfire restrictions in the Kamloops Fire Centre region, officials say they are watching conditions closely. Wildfire teams rely on the public to be their eyes and ears so to report suspected fires.

“If they do see fire and if they have a phone they can call 1-800-6635 5555 or star 5555 on their cell phone. We’re also encouraging people to download and use the fire app,” said Elsay. “The app is fantastic. It gives you up to date within the hour, information about any fires that are going on, they can give you up to date weather information.”

The public is also able to report suspected fires through the app.

“You’re actually able to attach photos which is super helpful for us. Photos really paint the picture for us and allow us to provide the proper response to fires in a quick and timely fashion,” added Elsay.

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