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Richter Mountain wildfire: No significant overnight growth, blaze estimated at 50-60 hectares

Smoke rises on Friday from the Richter Mountain wildfire that’s burning around 17 km due west of Osoyoos, B.C. Global News

A South Okanagan wildfire that started along a highway early Friday has not grown significantly.

Located around 17 km west of Osoyoos, and 3.5 km north of the U.S. border, the Richter Mountain wildfire grew to an estimated 40 hectares on Friday.

On Saturday, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the blaze — believed to have been sparked by a vehicle fire — was at 50 to 60 hectares.

Read more: Keremeos Creek wildfire: Evacuation orders, alerts remain in place

“It’s a smaller fire at this point, so it’s going to sit in between those two sizes,” BCWS fire information officer Forrest Tower told Global News, adding it didn’t experience any significant overnight growth.

Tower said after starting along Highway 3, the blaze moved upslope into some rocky areas. Airtankers actioned the fire in the afternoon, with helicopters also bucketing water most of the day.

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On Friday morning, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen issued an evacuation alert for 29 properties in the area, but rescinded it hours later at 4:30 p.m.

Click to play video: 'Evacuation alert for new fire along Highway 3 near Osoyoos, B.C.' Evacuation alert for new fire along Highway 3 near Osoyoos, B.C.
Evacuation alert for new fire along Highway 3 near Osoyoos, B.C – Aug 12, 2022

Around 40 firefighters are on scene, and more helicopter action is expected for Saturday.

“If we’re able to keep away from any strong winds, it’s looking like containment on that (fire) is achievable in the next little bit,” said Tower.

A burned-out vehicle is shown after an accident that sparked a wildfire on Highway 3 west of Osoyoos near Richter Mountain in this photo. Regional District Okanagan Similkameen

“But we are expecting there might be potential for wind, and that could increase fire behaviour.”

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BCWS information officer Karley Desrosiers said the fire started around 1 a.m., Friday, and while the service was aware that a truck had caught fire in a “vehicle incident” along the highway, the connection between the vehicle and the wildfire hasn’t been officially confirmed.

Click to play video: 'Dozen of people return home near Keremeos Creek wildfire' Dozen of people return home near Keremeos Creek wildfire
Dozen of people return home near Keremeos Creek wildfire – Aug 12, 2022

— With files from The Canadian Press

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