Cori Stephen captured this photo looking toward the Christie Mountain fire.

UPDATE: 40 personnel remain overnight on the Christie Mountain wildfire

BC Wildfire will have 132 personnel on-site for the day

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

The Christie Mountain blaze saw about 1 mm of rainfall on Friday, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Winds were forecasted to gust up to 70 km/hr; however, the wind did not significantly increase the fire.

According to BC Wildfire, 40 personnel will remain on-site overnight in conjunction with structure protection personnel and multiple fire departments.

An additional 60 firefighters and one helicopter will be arriving Saturday morning to support suppression efforts.

More than 130 firefighters worked on-site Friday and were supported by 15 helicopters and three water tenders, that shuttled water. Crews are working in conjunction with structure protection personnel and multiple fire departments.

BC Wildfire is reporting that crews made good work on the southwest flank of the fire, Friday afternoon.

Residents should expect to see more structural protection teams, in Penticton on Saturday. These teams will remain stationed throughout the community.

BC Wildfire stated that the action taken by the structural protection teams is a precautionary measure to mitigate risk to homes in the area ahead of an approaching weather system that may cause challenging fire behaviour.

————

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.

Strong gusty winds are increasing the fire behaviour of the Christie Mountain blaze, in Penticton.

The wildfire remains at 2,000 hectares in size as of Friday afternoon.

Ground crews and helicopters are working closely to suppress any flare-ups that occur.

BC Wildfire closely monitoring trigger points within the fire which could lead to further spread and have personnel posted at lookouts to watch these points.

Crews are working in conjunction with structure protection personnel and multiple fire departments.

All evacuation orders and alerts remain in place.

While the evacuation orders are still in effect, support is being offered by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre.

Christie Mountain wildfire evacuees who need to renew support services and are still relocated within the Penticton area, please go to the Reception Center at 199 Ellis St. Penticton, between 9 a.m and 6 p.m.

Evacuees who need to renew support services and are relocated outside the Penticton area should contact Emergency Support Services (ESS) at 250-490-4225 between 9 a.m and 6 p.m.

For assistance with planning for or evacuating companion animals, please call the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team –ALERT at 250-809-7152

Pre-registration for those on evacuation alert can be done electronically via: www.ess.gov.bc.ca

——

UPDATE: 12:24 p.m.

During a City of Penticton press conference, on Friday, BC Wildfire explained the smoke has been a challenge for crews to get an accurate estimation of the size of the Christie Mountain blaze. However, a newly estimated size of the fire will be announced later in the day.

According to BC Wildfire information officer Nicole Bonnett, the blaze wasn’t very active Friday morning as there is not a lot of open flame currently occurring, instead, residents can expect to see a lot of wispy smoke.

While the fire is still classified as out of control, its size remains at an estimated 2,000 hectares, she said.

She added that structure protection teams are coming to the area to assist with the firefighting efforts

The area the Christie Mountain wildfire is burning in is the same region that burned back in 1994. The previously burned area has seen some second-generation growth which can aid in response to the blaze, as there is less fuel on the forest floor.

An incident management team arrived on the scene, Thursday evening, which will help free up regional firefighters to focus on possible new wildfire starts.

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said should the winds change and the fire cross into the city, everyone must work together.

Local firefighters along with support from other fire departments are currently on-site to fight the blaze; however, the mayor asks that residents don’t obstruct the crews, even if they want to thank them, the public needs to stay out of the way.

There are 110 firefighters and 61 pieces of apparatus from across the province working on the Christie Mountain blaze.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect.

More than 1,400 households have pre-registered online at ess.gov.bc.ca and those from 101 homes, who were evacuated on Aug. 18, are staying with friends and family, others are in the care of emergency services.

———————

As the Christie Mountain wildfire rages into its fourth day the estimated size remains at 2,000 hectares.

Overnight 40 firefighters remained on-site and were supported by two water tenders shuttling water. They worked in conjunction with structure protection personnel and multiple fire departments.

The fire continues to burn in difficult rocky sloped terrain with limited access points for ground crews and heavy equipment.

Friday will be a challenging day for fire crews as winds forecasted to reach between 20 and 40 km per hour and could gust up to 70 km per hour.

BC Wildfire will have 132 personnel on-site for the day, along with 15 helicopters and three water tenders shuttling water. They are working in conjunction with structure protection personnel and multiple fire departments.

Structural protection teams started early Friday morning across the community performing assessments on threatened infrastructure.

READ MORE: “We’ll have to see”: Painted Rock Winery’s future uncertain as Christie Mountain fire rages

“This action is a precautionary measure to mitigate risk to homes in the area ahead of an approaching weather system that may cause challenging fire behaviour,” stated BC Wildfire information officer Nicole Bonnett.

Fire crews will continue a 50-foot wet line and laying hose along the south flank eastward and will also push the hose into the west flank working to the north.

According to BC Wildfire, a control line will be established at Skaha Bluff Provincial Park as crews look for small burnout opportunities.

On Thursday, firefighters made good progress on the southwest flank of the fire, by building and strengthening control lines.

One home has been lost as a result of the wildfire. The owners of 176 Christie Mountain Lane in Heritage Hills south of Penticton have been notified. The property was placed under an evacuation order on Aug. 18.

More than 300 homes remain under an evacuation order in the Heritage Hills area south of Penticton in Electoral Area “D” in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) due to the wildfire.

An evacuation alert continues for the Upper Carmi area which affects 3,669 properties located within the southeast portion of Penticton.

If your residence has been placed on an evacuation order, you’re asked to register at ess.gove.bc.ca or 199 Ellis Street in Penticton.

The emergency support services reception centre was closed at midnight and will reopen at 9 a.m.

Boaters on Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake are asked to stay out of the way of air tankers and watch for helicopters in the area that will be gathering water for the Mount Christie fire.

READ MORE: Penticton ICU patients moved to Kelowna amid Christie Mountain wildfire

Christie Mountain fire day three: Forecasted winds may pose threat as Christie Mountain Wildfire grows

Christie Mountain fire day two: 40 personnel on scene overnight of 1,400 hectare Christie Mountain wildfire

Christie Mountain fire day one: More than 3,000 properties on alert as Mount Christie wildfire grows to 1,000 hectares


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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