Photo: BC Wildfire Service twitter

Wildfire north of Okanagan Connector experiences growth overnight

Crews are working to contain a wildfire on Gottfriedsen Mountain, west of West Kelowna

UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m.

The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire, located west of West Kelowna, has experienced growth overnight, according to BC Wildfire information officer Brenna Ward.

It is currently still estimated at 550 hectares, but crews expect that number will change today, she said.

She described the fire’s growth as “slow” and “steady” overnight.

Yesterday, Ward said the fire was burning to the west, but as the wind’s changed it began to burn eastward, back in on itself.

Fourteen wildfire crew members are on scene today along with three pieces of heavy equipment. Crews have been successful in establishing a guard on the west flank of the fire, she said.

Priorities today will be on initial attack crews as thunderstorms are expected around the Okanagan, she said, so crews will be working to quickly extinguish fires.

An evacuation alert remains in effect for properties and camping areas north of Highway 97C including the following lakes:

  • Pennask Lake (western boundary)
  • Mellin Lake (northern boundary)
  • Barton Lake (north-eastern boundary)
  • Eileen Lake (south-eastern boundary)

———-

Original: Aug. 10, 4:15 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service is using fire warden crews to help with the Gottfriedsen Mountain blaze.

Additional heavy equipment will be brought in on Friday.

The fire is lightning caused.

With the possibility of thunderstorms forecast for the region, the BC Wildfire Service is at high preparation level and prioritizing initial attack crews.

The fire grew Thursday night due to high winds in the area.

A blaze that started on Aug. 1 near the Pennask Summit is now considered ‘held’ and is 19 km from the Gottfriedsen Mountain fire and not a threat.

———-

UPDATE: 1:52 p.m.

The Gottfriedsen Mountain fire is now an estimated 550 hectares in size.

According to BC Wildfire Service the blaze is s exhibiting high and extreme fire behaviour.

Due to smoke in the region BC Wildfire is currently unable to track the perimeter of the fire.

RELATED: Wildfire smoke settling into the Southern Interior

A more accurate size estimation will be provided when visibility improves.

Currently there are seven firefighters on site with heavy equipment.

RELATED: Wildfire sparks evacuation alert north of Highway 97C

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ORIGINAL:

As of Thursday night, the wildfire burning on Gottfriedsen Mountain— 24 kilometers west of West Kelowna and eight kilometers north of Highway 97— was mapped at 400 hectares.

BC Wildfire sent in air tankers, helicopter support, ground crews and heavy equipment early on in the firefight, but the blaze was growing rapidly, prompting an evacuation alert has been issued by the Thompson Nicola Regional District for the Electoral ‘M’ area.

Visit the tnrd.ca for more information.

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