Aerial assault of fire burning west of Peachland continues

Click to play video: 'Pigeon Creek wildfire burning west of Peachland'
Pigeon Creek wildfire burning west of Peachland
Fire crews in the Okanagan are being kept busy by a wildfire west of Peachland. Flames began late Sunday but as Travis Lowe reports, the fire has now spread to 8 hectares in size – Jun 5, 2023

Peachland residents should expect to hear the thrum of water skimmer planes throughout Tuesday, as the aerial assault of the Pigeon Creek fire burning 6.5 kilometres west of the town continues.

The fire, first spotted on Sunday night, is currently mapped at 33 hectares, a figure first offered by the BC Wildfire Service on Monday night.

BC Wildfire information officer Aydan Coray said the blaze is still classified out of control, though there was noticeably less smoke rising from the hill above Peachland early Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'Canada projected to have worst year of wildfire destruction'
Canada projected to have worst year of wildfire destruction

“We did see quite significant growth yesterday afternoon, in the heat of the day, being driven by winds,” said BCWS fire information officer Aydan Coray. “As it’s in steep terrain, that also influences how it’s growing.

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“Today, we haven’t seen any growth on the fire, which is good.”

On Tuesday, six skimmers, a plane with retardant and two helicopters were deployed to the site.

“We did upgrade the personnel overnight,” she said, adding there were two on-site on Monday night, watching the fire.

For Tuesday, 60 ground crews are laying a fuel-free fire guard along the fire’s west and east flanks.

The fire’s cause is still under investigation.

Click to play video: 'Wildfire sparked near Lions Bay, B.C.'
Wildfire sparked near Lions Bay, B.C.

Hot, dry weather for the foreseeable future is causing some concern.

BC Wildfire’s lead fire-weather forecaster, Matt MacDonald, said they are looking at how much rain is needed to alleviate persistent drought conditions and to lower wildfire risks.

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They found it would require two to three millimetres of rain per day, for 10 to 20 days in a row, he said.

“I can almost guarantee that is not going to happen,” he said.

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National approach needed in Canada’s wildfire fight: experts

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