Richter Mnt fire burns 403 hectares

Richter Mnt fire burns 403 hectares


Dale Boyd 
Aberdeen Publishing

Firefighters have been working hard for seven straight days, and the Richter Mountain fire burning roughly 20 kilometers from Osyoos is now “held” according to BC Wildfire. The Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen rescinded evacuation alerts for 10 properties near the Richter Mountain wildfire south of Cawston on Monday.

BC Wildfire Service says the fire remains 403 hectares in size, but is classified as “being held.”

“The fire is not likely to spread further given the current conditions and suppression efforts. The fire is primarily a smoldering ground fire and not producing much smoke,” BC Wildfire Service states. While there was minimal smoke visible for tourists and residents in town, the estimated size of the Richter Mountain wildfire grew to 400 hectares on July 29.

An incident management team was called in Saturday to help co-ordinate efforts to contain the blaze and planes and air bombers, as well as helicopters, could be spotted taking off from the Penticton airport and scooping up water from Osoyoos Lake throughout the week.

“The fire is showing a low level of fire activity. It is primarily a smouldering ground fire and not producing a lot of smoke. Today’s suppression efforts will be focused on the ground, with less emphasis on air support, as additional crews are onsite. Crews are working in steep terrain with loose rock and site safety is a priority,” BC Wildfire stated on July 30.

As of July 31, 151 firefighters, two helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment are working to extinguish the remaining hot spots.

Highway 3 was re-opened Friday after being closed that morning in both directions due to the proximity of the fire.