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BC Wildfire has announced that conditions are favourable and they will be starting the planned ignition along the north east section of the fire this morning. The burn will be low intensity with low tree mortality. The identified burn area from site assessment today is 3000 hectares.

Planned ignition operations are critical to achieve containment in areas where the fire perimeter is inoperable and unsafe for ground crews and heavy equipment to work. Planned ignitions are the safest way to remove fuel that can burn well into fall and winter by the wildfire. In 2018, fires that occurred in severe drought areas burned underground over winter and started burning in the spring again.

Given the extreme drought over the wildfire area, the large scale ignition in the Irish Creek Rd area is critical to ensure that the fire perimeter is secure as possible with no fuel available for further growth. Without these ignitions, the wildfire will continue to burn out of control into fall in heavy fuels with the potential to impact Hwy 97 and the surrounding interface.

Please note that you will likely see significant smoke when this planned ignition begins. With the significant smoke in the atmosphere, air quality may be a concern. We ask you to monitor air quality in the North Okanagan and plan your activities accordingly. Air Quality updates are available at the Environment Canada website. The Township will continue to do our best to update you on information about any planned ignitions as the information becomes available. More information about the planned ignition, wildfire activities or statistics can be found at the BC Wildfire website.

As part of the preparation work for this planned ignition, BC Wildfire in conjunction with our Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department have placed large blue containers in strategic locations of Spallumcheen. Each container holds 21,000 gallons of water and will be used by structural protection crews should it be necessary. In addition, 13 large bladders of water have been deployed to strategic locations. This is a precautionary measure only. There are currently no indicators that the fire is set to enter Spallumcheen’s borders.

Some of the things that residents can do are:
• Avoid use of back country areas. The Township asks that everyone stay alert to signs of fire and report any signs of wildfire in back country areas to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.
• Make sure that you are prepared for quickly changing situations by having an emergency plan and be prepared to leave your home or business with short notice. If you have not already done so, please review resources on our Emergency Information page regarding what to do to prepare for an evacuation and what to pack in your 72 hour grab and go bag.

Current Evacuation Alert Area 

Full Press Release can be read here. 

The next planned update from the Township of Spallumcheen will be Monday, August 30, 2021 at 16:00 hrs