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Planned ignitions cause increased smoke from wildfire near Osoyoos

The highway was closed for most of the day due to the Eagle Bluff wildfire

UPDATE: 6:40 p.m.

Planned ignitions got underway on the northeast corner of the Eagle Bluff wildfire near Osoyoos on Thursday, causing increased smoke in the area.

There were 86 firefighters and 77 structure protection personnel on scene for the day and BC Wildfire will have operations running 24 hours. Eight helicopters are responding to the incident until dark when they will be grounded for the night. Also on the scene are 16 pieces of heavy equipment.

The blaze remains at an estimated 3,044 Hectares.


5 p.m.

Highway 3 between Osoyoos and Keremeos has been re-opened in both directions after being closed most of the day due to ongoing activities involving the Eagle Bluff wildfire.

According to DriveBC, there is limited visibility with smoke on the route.

Following planned ignitions, the fire is very visible from all parts of Osoyoos.

Thursday, 12:30 p.m.

Highway 3 between Osoyoos and Keremeos is closed in both directions due to ongoing activities involving the Eagle Bluff wildfire.

The wildfire is between Old Richter Pass Road and Lambert Court for 6.8 kilometres. According to DriveBC, there is limited visibility with smoke on the route. A detour is not available. The next update is expected at 2 p.m.

More than 1,000 hectares of planned ignitions got underway on the west flank on Wednesday, Aug. 2, between Nighthawk Road, up to Frank Lake area. BC Wildfire Service is expected to proceed with the remaining ignitions today, Thursday, Aug. 3.

A combination of hand and aerial ignitions with support from ground personnel, structure protection personnel and aerial resources began the burn in the evening of Aug. 1, with plans to carry on through the day on Aug. 2 if conditions allow.

The latest size estimate for the fire has it at least 3,044 hectares in size on the Canadian side of the border and at least 6,364 hectares south of the border.

The wildfire, that started July 29, seemed to flare up again both on the eastern and western flanks on Tuesday night, with helicopters and air bombers working very hard all day.

Traffic control has been coordinated for Highway 3 and there will be closures and single lane traffic.

The Emergency reception centre in Oliver is being moved to Sonora Community Centre (8505 68 Avenue, Osoyoos) and is currently scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you require support, including food or lodging, please contact Emergency Support Services (ESS) at 250-486-1890. You can register online at

On Wednesday, the RDOS issued an evacuation order was issued for the Osoyoos Wildlife Federation at 14000 Strawberry Creek Road in Electoral Area “A”. The order remains in place.

VIDEO: Cross-border 1k hectare controlled burn for Eagle Bluff Wildfire near Osoyoos

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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