Wildfire burning near Big White as dry conditions cause concern

Click to play video: 'Fears of B.C. and Alberta wildfires grow amid extreme drought conditions'
Fears of B.C. and Alberta wildfires grow amid extreme drought conditions
WATCH: The B.C. Wildfire Service said that while it's not unusual to see new fires sparking in October, but the rate at which they're starting this month is far from normal — raising concerns across Alberta as well. Heather Yourex-West reports – Oct 16, 2022

“Very, very dry” conditions near Big White are contributing to concerns surrounding the West Kettle River wildfire.

It was sparked Friday and is burning around 12 km southwest of Big White, and 33 km southeast of Kelowna.

“We can see the smoke and the fire department here is well and truly on it and they’re dealing with BC Wildfire,” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice-president of Big White resort, “and we’re just hoping that it gets under control very quickly. (It is) very, very dry in the bush.”

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BC Wildfire said the blaze grew to an estimated 5.3 hectares and has Rank 1 and 2 conditions.

Rank 1 is a smouldering ground fire, while Rank 2 is a “low vigour” surface fire. Both are characterized as having a slow rate of speed.

There are 19 personnel responding with assistance from two helicopters.

This wildfire is highly visible from Highway 33 and surrounding areas. In a tweet on Friday, BC Wildfire said that helicopters are using Arlington Lakes for water delivery.

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