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Crews continue to fight Brenda Creek wildfire, protect Westside power source

The fire is still estimated at 450 hectares in size
A photo of the Brenda Creek fire from July 15. (Contributed/B.C. Wildfire Service)

BC Wildfire Service personnel are working to protect a power line threatened by the Brenda Creek wildfire, which is still estimated to be burning at 450 hectares in size as of Tuesday morning (July 20).

Mike McCulley, a fire information officer for BC Wildfire Service, said that crews are in the process of implementing a mass water delivery system to combat the flames and protect the power source, which is a single transmission line that provides power to 60,000 people in West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland.

“It’s a four-inch water line, which is bigger than the current inch and a half water line,” said McCulley. “This allows them to run water further and use more sprinklers.”

READ MORE: Brenda Creek wildfire threatening sole power source for the west side of Okanagan Lake

There are currently 39 firefighters on-site, supported by two helicopters and 13 pieces of heavy equipment. 20 support staff have also been deployed, which includes members of the BC Wildfire Service incident management team.

Structural units are still in place, and McCulley said that crews are also working on guard line reinforcement. Six firefighters stayed overnight to support the guard line reinforcement.

McCulley said that minimal fire growth was observed yesterday, but noted that there was a significant increase in fire behaviour due to strong winds and expects to see growth today as a result.

He also expressed appreciation for the support from the public.

“Our crews can’t do the work they need to without their help. It’s hard work, it’s tiring work,” he said. “Without broader collaborators from the industry and the community — it’s very much appreciated.”

He asked that residents continue to cooperate with personnel, and respect closures and restricted areas.

“We need the community to stay strong and work with us on that,” he said.

READ MORE: Western Canada desperately needs rain but it’s not in the forecast: climatologist


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