Four wildfires breakout in Lower Similkameen

Over the weekend 19 fires broke out in the Penticton zone, which includes Hedley, Keremeos and Cawston.

 

Wet weather Monday offered little relief to crews battling out of control fires in the area and throughout the province.

“We have rain in the forecast for today (Monday) or tomorrow. Any amount of precipitation helps but we are headed right into another period of hot and dry so this is just a short reprieve,” Kelsey Winter, fire information officer for Kamloops BC Wildfire Service. said.

Over the weekend 19 fires broke out in the Penticton zone, which includes Hedley, Keremeos and Cawston and encompasses everything from Lake Country, Kelowna, Penticton down to the US border.

It was the busiest fire zone in the province for a 48-hour period.

Friday night Hedley residents were alerted to fire as airplanes buzzed by the area to dump retardant on a 0.7 hectare fire on the mountainside above the little village.

“We’re trying to deal with fires as quick as possible so we’re getting out there as fast and soon as we can so they don’t get a chance to spread and draw on resources,” she said.

By Monday morning the small fire was categorized as in mop-up status meaning firefighters have contained it and are working to ensure it is extinguished.

The fire is believed to be human caused but is still under investigation.

Residents in Cawston might have had their Saturday night lit up as lightening caused three fires to catch starting around 7 p.m.

The largest occurred near Hunter Creek and has grown to about 70 hectares in size. Two unit crews and a helicopter worked to put out the large fire into Monday afternoon.

Two other fires classified as spot fires as they were less than a hectare in size occurred near Cawston Creek. The fires were responded to by crews and extinguished.

“We want to remind people that we are headed into a period where the number of lightening fires increase so we really need to see the number of human caused fires decrease,” Winter said.

Anyone who sees wild fire should call 5555 on their cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.

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