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UPDATE: Brenda Creek wildfire near the Connector now considered held

(UPDATE: Aug. 5 @ 12:55 pm) - A wildfire that has been burning near the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C) for over three weeks is now considered held.

That means that, with the resources currently committed to the fire, sufficient suppression action has been taken and the fire is not likely to spread beyond its existing boundaries under the forecasted conditions.

The fire, which sparked on July 14, reached 824 hectares in size.


(UPDATE: Aug. 5 @ 10:20 am) – The Brenda Creek fire is still estimated to be burning at 824 hectares.

Crews have made progress around Headwater Creek and will be demobilizing structural protection around values in the area.

Despite the gusty winds from earlier this week, “fire guards and crews have held the perimeter successfully,” reports BC Wildfire Service.

Crews continue to patrol and extinguish hot spots along the southern fire guard and under power lines in the area.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

Yesterday, BCWS reported that there were more or less the same number of personnel as Monday morning.

There were 18 firefighters, three helicopters, 12 pieces of heavy equipment, two support staff, two danger tree assessors/fallers and one incident management team.

The evacuation order issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen remains in place.

Visit this link for updates on the Brenda Creek from the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations.


(UPDATE: Aug. 2 @ 10:45 am) - Despite a small amount of rainfall providing a "slight reprieve" at the Brenda Creek wildfire, things are expected to heat up in the coming days.

BC Wildfire Service said conditions are "forecast to return to being warm and dry over the next two days."

The 1–2 millimetres of rain recorded yesterday did provide a break in fire activity, however.

"The fire and surrounding areas remain under thick smoke conditions," BCWS added.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS </who> BCWS staff at the Okanagan Complex HQ in Oliver.

"Winds today are forecast to be 10-15 km/hr from the west and northwest, with afternoon gusts of 25-35 km/hr in the afternoon which will increase the drying out of forest fuels from yesterday's precipitation."

The agency said structure protection for "high value resources" – including cabins in the Headwater Creek area – is continuing.

"Crews will continue to patrol and extinguish hot spots along the power lines," BCWS added.

Patrols will also be deployed to the southern perimeter of the fire, with a skidder available to extinguish hot spots.

The fire remains at 824 hectares, out of control and under investigation.

BCWS said in its latest update that it has 34 firefighters, three helicopters, 12 pieces of heavy equipment and several support staff at the fire.


(UPDATE: July 29 @ 10:39 am) - The BC Wildfire Service has warned people living near the Brenda Creek wildfire that things could get worse in the coming days.

"Active areas within the fire perimeter may flare up and increased fire behaviour may be visible to surrounding communities," BCWS explained.

On Wednesday, BCWS said 20 km/h winds "challenged containment lines along the northwest flank of the fire."

"Control lines and crews were able to successfully hold the fire through the wind event and increased fire behaviour," the agency added.

Work continues to protect structures and a power line that provides energy to many surrounding communities.

Looking forward, BCWS said: "Crews will look for opportunities to complete small ignition operations along established guards where appropriate to remove unburnt fuels.

"Crews on the southern division of the fire will be working on a 25-foot wet line along the fire’s perimeter."

In its latest update, BCWS said the fire was still estimated to be 824 hectares in size.

The fire's cause is still under investigation.

It remains out of control.

BCWS said it had 34 firefighters, three helicopters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire.


(UPDATE: July 28 @ 6:11 am) - BC Wildfire Service had a good day at the Brenda Creek wildfire on Tuesday.

Firefighters succeeded in reinforcing a guard line on the fire's east by using planned ignitions.

"This significantly reduced the risk of further growth to the east," BCWS said.

The fire remains at 824 hectares, with no growth reported on Tuesday.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

BCWS added that firefighters are continuing in their work to "mop up" around the transmission line that provides power to several nearby communities.

Efforts tomorrow are likely to be focused on extinguishing hotspots in the north and east.

But BCWS added: "An increase in fire activity is still expected in the coming days as hot, dry and windy conditions will persist. No precipitation is anticipated in the near future.

"These conditions will continue to challenge fire suppression efforts."

The fire remains out of control and its cause is under investigation.

In its latest update, BCWS said it had 56 firefighters, four helicopters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment at the site.


(UPDATE: July 26 @ 9:22 am) - Fire activity has increased at the Brenda Creek wildfire due to recent weather, BC Wildfire Service has said.

Fire growth was minimal yesterday – the blaze remains at 824 hectares – but there are signs it could expand in the coming days.

"Fire behaviour increased yesterday due to warmer and drier conditions," BCWS explained.

The agency added: "Crews continue to work on reinforcement of guard lines and mop up under sections of the transmission line."

Some growth was logged last night on the eastern flank of the fire, as well as north of Brenda Mine Road.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

"Crews will be working on containment in these areas today, and will action any spot fires that may occur," BCWS said.

"Winds were calm this morning but are expected to pick up early in the day."

A "high-volume water delivery system" that was put in place to protect part of the transmission line within the fire's perimeter has been removed, BCWS said.

That's because the fire poses less of a risk to the line in that area now, BCWS said.

"This water line was instrumental in the protection of the transmission line," the agency explained.

"The transmission line remains operational."

The fire's cause remains under investigation.

In its latest update, BCWS said there were 51 firefighters, four helicopters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment at the fire.

"An increase in fire activity may occur in the coming days as hot, dry and windy conditions will persist," BCWS said.

"No precipitation is anticipated in the near future. These conditions will continue to challenge fire suppression efforts."


(UPDATE: July 25 @ 4 pm) - The BC Wildfire Service continues to battle the Brenda Creek blaze on Sunday.

According to the BCWS, the fire has grown to 824 hectares in size. It is still classified as out of control.

Fire behaviour was relatively calm during the weekend, though it could ramp up during the evening. The most active portion of the fire is on the southwest flank.

"Crews continue to reinforce sections of guard line on the northwest corner of the fire by burning off the fuel between the guard and the fire with small, hand ignition operations."

"Helicopters were used to bucket water onto hotspots yesterday, drawing water from nearby lakes. This effort will continue today."

A total of 46 firefighters, four helicopters and 19 pieces of heavy equipment are on site today.

For more on the blaze, click here.

(UPDATE: July 23 @ 8 am) – BC Wildfire Service kept up work to protect the transmission line affected by the Brenda Creek wildfire yesterday.

Crews also used helicopters to drop water onto hotspots on Thursday, an effort that will be repeated today.

Winds from the southwest, however, increased fire activity and led to some growth in the southeast section of the fire, BCWS said – but it is still estimated to be 662 hectares.

"A mass water delivery system is now in place to protect the section of the transmission line within the fire perimeter," the agency explained. "This delivery system consists of a 4-inch hose line that supplies a series of larger sprinklers."

<who> Photo credit: BCWS <who> The fire on Friday morning.

BCWS added: "A specialized high-volume pump supplies water to the line, which can be turned on quickly if the threat to the transmission line increases due to increased fire activity.

"This water line has been effective in assisting with protection of the transmission line. The transmission line remains operational."

Structural protection remains in place on "high value resources," BCWS said.

Four firefighters remained overnight to monitor the fire, accompanied by three support staff.

The fire remains out of control and its cause is still being investigated.


(UPDATE: July 22 @ 11:00 am) – The Brenda Creek fire has grown to 662 hectares and is still classified as out of control.

BC Wildfire Service reports that yesterday crews were able to perform small hand ignition operations to burn off fuel between the fire and guard.

Staff continue to identify where to put control lines on the active flanks of the fire while helicopters extinguish hotspots.

BCWS also explains that yesterday’s “north west winds did cause some growth to the east and south of the fire, but did not impact the transmission line.”

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS / Northwest side of the fire, taken July 20

Crews have been able to set up two mass water delivery systems to protect the transmission line that lies within the fire perimeter and nearby houses.

Last night, four firefighters and three support staff were on site to monitor fire behaviour.

There are now 42 firefighters, tree helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment working the fire today.

The crew is supported by an additional 24 staff members including a BCWS Incident Management Team.

<who> Photo Credit: BC wildfire dashboard

The evacuation order declared by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for the 43 properties in electoral area “H” remains in place.

The evacuation alert for three properties in electoral area “M” declared by Thompson-Nicola Regional District also remains in place.

The evacuation alert for a section of the west electoral area in the Regional District of Central Okanagan also continues. Visit this link for all the latest updates.

The restriction for the area surrounding the Brenda Creek wildfire also remains in place.

NowMedia Staff will continue to update this story as information becomes available.


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 8:05 am): BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) had some positive news to report about the Brenda Creek fire last night.

Fire behaviour was "elevated" due to winds on Monday afternoon, the agency said, but perimeter growth "was minimal."

BCWS also said crews are "making good progress on extinguishing fire along the power line" that is imperilled by the fire.

In its latest update, BCWS said it had 40 firefighters, two helicopters and 11 pieces of heavy equipment at the scene.

Six firefighters remained overnight to patrol the site and reinforce the guard line.

The fire remains at 450 hectares.

It is still classed as out of control.

No cause has yet been determined.


(UPDATE: July 19 @ 11:52 am): The fire is now down to 450 hectares.


(UPDATE: July 19 @ 5:26 am): The Brenda Creek wildfire is now estimated to be 480 hectares, down from 500.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the slight decrease was due to more accurate mapping.

Evacuation alerts and orders issued by three different regional districts remain in place.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS </who> The fire on July 17.

For the latest information on these evacuations, see:

On Sunday, BCWS said it used a planned ignition over about 30 hectares around the fire.

They said the objective was to "solidify and strengthen guards on the west side of the fire" – and later explained that the operation was a success.

The fire remains out of control and its cause is still under investigation.

In an update yesterday, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said that BC Hydro is continuing to "actively monitor" its transmission line, which is in the same area as the fire.

They said yesterday afternoon: "This morning’s aerial review of the transmission line did not show any damage. However the fire is still nearby. Crews remain on standby and ready to respond at a moment’s notice."

In its latest update, BCWS said the fire was being fought by:

  • 23 firefighters
  • 2 helicopters
  • 11 pieces of heavy equipment
  • Structure protection unit
  • Local fire departments

Emergency officials continue to recommend that residents in the area prepare for a potential power outage.

They can do so here.


(Original story: July 17 @ 1:45 am): The BC Wildfire Service continues to fight a number of fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre this morning.

According to the service, area restrictions have been put in place for the 500-hectare blaze at Brenda Creek.

The restrictions officially went into effect at noon today.

<Who> Photo Credit: BCWS

It is expected to last until Oct. 15 unless conditions improve significantly.

Shown below are the affected areas:

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS

Under the orders, residents may not remain or enter the area.

Only those travelling through, supporting wildfire suppression, working at the nearby mine or engaging in agricultural activity will be allowed in.

Failure to follow the restrictions could result in a $1,150 fine.

The blaze is still classified as "out of control."

A total of six firefighters and three helicopters are on scene today.

NowMedia will update the story when more is available.



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