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Christie Mountain Wildfire Update

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Christie Mountain Wildfire Update

"Again, that's just a computer model... but I would say based on that fuel type, if we get some strong winds, then our lines will be challenged, for sure".

A helicopter drops water on the Christie Mountain wildfire along Skaha Lake in Penticton, B.C. on Thursday.

A helicopter drops water on the Christie Mountain wildfire along Skaha Lake, in Penticton, B.C., on August 20, 2020.

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) says the Bowron Forest Service Road blaze, located roughly 75 km east of the city and south of Purden Lake Provincial Park, has been contained to 0.2 hectares in size since it lit up yesterday (Aug. 19).

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said a weather system is expected to move through the Okanagan on Friday that will bring southerly winds of 20 to 40 km/h, gusting up to 70 km/h.

Meanwhile, the Doctor Creek Fire near Canal Flats has been remeasured and is much larger than previously believed; having been listed at 400 hectares in size Thursday, new information puts it at 3,000 hectares as of its most recent update.

Erick Thompson, a spokesperson for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen's emergency operations centre, said residents of the evacuation alert area need to be ready to leave quickly.

Up to now, the firefighters, who have been battling the blaze for three days, have been hampered by hard, rocky, sloped terrain making access hard for ground crews, as well as record-breaking temperatures that rose to 37.5C in Penticton on Tuesday, a 57-year record.

"It is burning in some pretty nasty terrain, it's pretty rocky, pretty steep". She said the usual precautions apply.

It was classified as a fire of note after threatening nearby homes, however, the evacuation alert issued for the area was rescinded by the Kootenay Boundary Regional District on Wednesday.

Calm winds over the last few days are forecast to switch direction and gain strength over the 20-square kilometre wildfire that has already destroyed one home and forced hundreds of evacuations.

Almost 100 wildfires have been sparked in B.C. following a Sunday night thunderstorm and intense heat that has gripped the southern part of the province for days.

Nearly three dozen of the current fires are listed as "out of control".

It advises people with asthma or anyone with a chronic condition to stop or reduce activity levels if wildfire smoke makes breathing uncomfortable.

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