Winds blowing the fire back up Richter Mountain on the evening of July 27. Firefighters are still working to contain the blaze Monday. Dale Boyd/Osoyoos Times
While there is minimal smoke visible for tourists and residents in town, the estimated size of the Richter Mountain wildfire has grown to over 400 hectares since it started on July 24.
The fire, suspected to be lightning-caused, is now at covering a 403 hectare area, according to the latest from BC Wildfire.
An incident management team is now on the ground to help co-ordinate efforts to contain the blaze.
“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,” reads the latest information from BC Wildfire.
In total, 145 firefighters and eight helicopters have been combatting the blaze over the past five days.
The Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen issued an evacuation alert on July 26 for nine residences along Highway 3 and one on Chopaka Road.
Highway 3 was re-opened Friday after being closed that morning in both directions due to the proximity of the fire.
“Drivers should proceed through the area slowly without stopping and watch out for falling rocks and debris along the highway,” BC Wildfire states, adding to check drivebc.ca for up-to-date driving conditions.