Eagle Bluff wildfire forcing hundreds from their homes in Osoyoos, B.C.

Click to play video: 'B.C. town on edge after wildfire scare'
B.C. town on edge after wildfire scare
WATCH: The town of Osoyoos, B.C. is on edge after the Eagle Bluff wildfire, first discovered in Oroville, Washington, cross into Canada, prompting evacuation orders. Heather Yourex-West speaks with residents about the tense experience, and what could cause the wildfire to flare up again. – Jul 31, 2023


BC Wildfire Service says it has brought in additional resources to help action the Eagle Bluff wildfire burning four kilometres from Osoyoos, B.C.

“We have about 50 personnel on the fire today. There were 25 there this morning with another 27 en route this afternoon,” said BCWS fire information officer, Shaelee Stearns.

“They will be conducting some small-scale hand ignitions along the east flank to help tie into that guard that’s been established there.”

Crews are expected to be on scene for 24 hours both throughout the day and into the night, and aerial resources are also in the area being requested as needed.

Click to play video: 'Fast moving wildfire forces hundreds to flee'
Fast moving wildfire forces hundreds to flee

“We have 11 pieces of heavy equipment, 50 people on it during the day with additional crews going on it tonight, and we have five helicopters responding as well.”

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As far as the fire activity, BCWS says the blaze has lost some of its momentum.

“We’re seeing rank 2 fire behaviour, so definitely a decrease in the activity that we were seeing in the evening last night,” said Stearns.

“Rank 2 is that surface fire that were seeing with a slower rate of spread.”

The fire is estimated at 885 hectares on the Canadian side of the border. Meanwhile, south of the border, the fire is estimated at roughly 2,025 hectares. Crews continue to monitor the weather and the wind, after heavy winds are what helped fuel this wildfire over the border.

“Through the days, crews will monitor and take the weather readings, so they’ll take the wind readings, the relative humidity, and they’ll see that effect on fire behaviour,” said Stearns.

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“Depending on the way that the wind is blowing, we are still focusing our resources on the eastern flank of the fire, so depending on the activity we see there, the resourcing might change if there’s need for more aerial support or if we see an increase in activity, crews will adjust accordingly as well.”

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At this time, total number of properties under evacuation order still remains at 732 in Electoral Area “A” and “B,” and the Town of Osoyoos, while the total number of properties under an evacuation alert hasn’t changed either – with 2,094 in Electoral Areas “A”, “B” and “C” and the Town of Osoyoos.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen says the cooperation of the public during the evacuation orders is critical right now.

“It can put crews at risk, and if people choose to stay but want to leave for a dental appointment or to get some food or groceries, they won’t be able to return,” said RDOS communications supervisor, Erick Thompson.

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“Cooperation is paramount in all of this.”


In its latest update, BC Wildfire Service says the Eagle Bluff wildfire is listed as out of control and is estimated to have grown to 885 hectares on the Canadian side of the border.

In the U.S., the fire is estimated at roughly 2,025 hectares.

“Today, we’re seeing rank 2 fire behaviour, so more of just a slow-moving surface fire — we’re not seeing that increased activity that we did we see yesterday into the evening,” said BCWS fire information officer, Shaelee Stearns.

“We’re not seeing any new growth as of today on it.”

Flames light up the sky over Osoyoos, B.C. on Saturday July 29, 2023.
Flames light up the sky over Osoyoos, B.C. Saturday night. Dave Weir

Fire crews are continuing to battle the out-of-control blaze with both heavy equipment and ground crews.

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“We do have seven pieces of heavy equipment responding to it today, as well as 23 firefighters that will be actioning the fire as well, and there is structure protecting assigned to the incident, said Stearns.”

“Yesterday evening and into the night we had initial attack crews on the fire throughout the whole evening, and yesterday afternoon we did have aerial resources on it as well.”

Aerial resources are also being assigned to the fire to assist crews.

Eagle Bluff wildfire near Osoyoos, B.C.
Smoke and flames visible from nearby homes Saturday night. Greg Reely

“There will be likely rotary wing helicopters but if there is needed request for the fix wings, so that’s our air tankers, that request will be put through, and action as needed throughout the day.”

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre is expected to provide an update at 1 p.m.

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More than 2,000 properties in Osoyoos, B.C., near the Eagle Bluff wildfire have been placed on evacuation alert, while an evacuation order remains in place for more than 700 properties.

The evacuation order was issued for 732 properties in Electoral Area “A” and the Town of Osoyoos. The order covers the area north of the Canada/U.S. border to the intersection of Highway 97 and Highway 3, west and north along Highway 3.

The evacuation alert is in effect for 2,094 properties in electoral areas “A”, “B”, and “C” as well as the Town of Osoyoos.  It covers properties from the east side of Highway 97 and the west side of Osoyoos Lake from the U.S. border, properties east of Highway 3 and west of Highway 97, as well as south of Road 20. The alert also includes properties along Highway 3 to Similkameen River, south of Sumac Road.

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Those who have been put on evacuation alert or order, or who have been displaced from their homes, are able to self-register for Emergency Support Services. The reception centre is set up at the Oliver Community Centre, located at 6359 Park Dr.

At this time, a travel advisory is in effect for Highway 3 between Keremeos and Osoyoos. Drive BC is asking motorists to avoid the area and use the detour via Highway 3A to Highway 97.

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The RDOS Emergency Operations Centre will be providing an update at 10 a.m.

For a live camera feed of the Eagle Bluff wildfire, click here.

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