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UPDATE: Wildfire just east of Armstrong grows to 10 hectares

BC Wildfire is on scene of a blaze near Armstrong
Fire burning near Armstrong.

UPDATE: Aug. 20, 11:15 a.m.

Due to more accurate tracking, the Vlem Creek wildfire is now an estimated three hectares in size.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) fire information officer Shaelee Stearns said Saturday will see 25 firefighters work on the blaze using eight pieces of heavy equipment to help establish fire guards. Three helicopters have also been assigned to the fire.

The Vlem Creek wildfire is believed to be human-caused.

The Township of Spallumcheen has activated a level-one emergency operations centre in response to the fire. The Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department is further assessing the blaze with BC Wildfire and township staff.

The township noted in a news release that as of Saturday afternoon the fire has not entered township borders and no structures are currently threatened.

Meanwhile, the Cosens Creek wildfire to the south of Vernon in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is now classified as being held. That blaze is also suspected to be human-caused.

The size of the blaze remains an estimated 4.6 hectares.

Stearns said there are eight firefighters on the ground at Cosens Creek, adding aerial support on Friday did much to contain the fire.

“Yesterday it was actioned by air tankers and helicopters throughout the evening which was highly effective for the fire,” Stearns said.

The Coldstream Fire Department lauded the work BCWS has done to contain the blaze.

“The two retardant drops they did, along with the excellent heli-bucketing work, made it possible for us to work with their ground crews and keep this fire contained to the grassland around Gingerly trail,” the department said on Facebook.

Crews will be working to mop up the interior of the fire from its perimeter with assistance from a water tender.

UPDATE: Aug. 20, 8:45a.m.

The Vlem Creek fire east of Armstrong has now grown to ten hectares.

The latest information from BC Wildfire Service as of late Aug. 19 has the fire burning at Rank 3 of 5, with heavy timber burning.

ORIGINAL: Aug. 19, 9p.m.

A wildfire that sparked just nine kilometres east of Armstrong has grown to five hectares over just several hours on Friday evening (Aug 19).

BC Wildfire is responding to the Vlem Creek blaze that is burning in heavy timber with visible candling.

The fire can be seen by the communities surrounding Armstrong. Crews are on scene, as are air tankers and helicopters.

This is the second blaze to start in the North Okanagan on Friday.

BC Wildfire along with local fire departments responded to smoke at Cosens Bay, in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, at about 3 p.m.

The Cosens Creek blaze is now an estimated 4.6 hectares in size and is believed to be human-caused.

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