Sprinklers deployed to structures in path of 1 of 2 wildfires near Agassiz

Smoke billows from one of two wildfires burning near Agassiz in B.C.'s Fraser Valley. The Bear Mountain and Limbert Mountain wildfires were detected Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Global News

Sprinklers and structural protections have been deployed to properties in the path of the Limbert Mountain wildfire — one of two burning in B.C.’s eastern Fraser Valley.

The District of Kent has also opened an emergency operations centre to streamline firefighting efforts for that blaze and the Bear Mountain fire, which were first detected Thursday morning.

As of Friday, both were classified as “out of control” by the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Orange markers in a screenshot from the B.C. Wildfire Service’s dashboard show two fires burning in the Fraser Valley on Thurs. Nov. 17, 2022. Screenshot/B.C. Wildfire Service

Read more: District of Kent issues evacuation alert as crews battle dual fires near Agassiz

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Agassiz Fire Chief Gerald Basten and his team are working with the BC Wildfire Service, Popkum Fire Department and contractors to contain the Limbert Mountain wildfire.

There a number of large dairy farms in that fire’s path, he told Global News. The fire is an estimated1.5 hectares in size, he added, but criminality is not suspected in its sparking.

“Most likely it’s going to turn towards an accidental fire,” he said.

An Agassiz Fire Department crew monitored the fire overnight. As of Friday, three pieces of heavy equipment, one helicopter and several ground crews had been deployed to fight it.

A fire guard has been cut around 40 per cent of the fire and crews are working on the head of the fire to prevent spread, Basten explained. The fire is less “aggressive” than it was Thursday night, he added.

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The District of Kent declared a local state of emergency Thursday evening, and issued an evacuation alert to residents at risk from the Limbert Mountain wildfire. It continues to ask members of the public to avoid the Limbert and Cameron roads area.

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The Bear Mountain fire falls with BC Hydro’s right of way and the utility is leading efforts to contain it. The Seabird Island Fire Department is supporting the Crown corporation through a mutual aid agreement, the District of Kent said in a Friday news release.

The Bear Mountain fire was estimated to be under half a hectare in size.

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