Firefighters from Mexico are assisting crews with the battle against the Mount Law wildfire near West Kelowna, which continues to burn out of control at an estimated size of 976 hectares.
BC Wildfire Service said in a Saturday morning (Aug. 28) update that additional crew from Mexico arrived on Friday and will be on the fireline assisting with suppression efforts.
The focus for crews on Saturday will be extinguishing a spot fire located on the east side of Drought Creek, as well as identifying hot spots using a thermal imaging scan.
“Mop up, by crews, continues throughout the fire perimeter and direct attack by crews is focused on the east side of the fire,” said BC Wildfire.
The agency is also asking boaters on Okanagan Lake to clear the area near the fire, as skimmer aircraft are planning on conducting a practice water drop on the blaze and may use the lake as a source.
“This is a planned operation for training purposes that will also aid in the containment of the wildfire. The fire has not challenged the guards and the operation is for training purposes only,” said BC Wildfire.
A restriction order remains in place, and no changes have been made to evacuation orders or alerts. The fire is believed to be human-caused.
Jason Brolund, the fire chief of West Kelowna Fire Rescue, said is asking the public to stay clear of the wildfire area, after crews noticed people using the area for recreational purposes, such as hiking and off-road vehicle activities.
“For the safety of the public and fire crews, we want to remind the community that there is an area restriction order in place and they should not be entering the fire area for recreation purposes,” said Brolund.
There are currently 119 BC Wildfire personnel on-site, supported by the members of the fire agency’s incident management team. Crews are assisted by four pieces of heavy equipment, as well as nine helicopters.