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BC Wildfire confirmed that the planned ignition is underway and approximately 50% complete as of 15:00 hrs today. A column of smoke is visible from surrounding communities and increased smoke will likely continue into the evening. The planned ignition is meeting the objective of removing fine to medium woody debris from the forested area while leaving the majority of large timber untouched.

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.

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.

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.

Current Evacuation Alert Area for the Township 

Full Press Release can be seen here. 

The next scheduled update from the Township will be Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 12:00 hrs