Two air tankers from the BC Wildfire Services base at the Penticton Regional Airport helped fight at wildfire in Washington State. (Western News file photo)

Two air tankers from the BC Wildfire Services base at the Penticton Regional Airport helped fight at wildfire in Washington State. (Western News file photo)

BC Wildfire Services help mop up Washington State fire

Two air tankers and bird dog plane from the Penticton base help with Washington State wildfire

Early support from a pair of air tankers and bird dog plane from the Penticton BC Wildfire Services base helped American crews in the early stages of a fast-spreading Washington State wildfire Wednesday.

At one point the Swanson Mill Fire, burning about 20 kilometres south of the Osoyoos border, was threatening about 25 structures and evacuation notices were in place.

The fire was reported to be nearly contained early Wednesday evening and the evacuation notices were lifted. One outbuilding was destroyed.

“It’s really helpful to get any air support an attack for a fire that’s growing and spreading because that helps to contain that fire line a lot quicker,” said Isabelle Hoygaard, Public Information Officer for the Swanson Mill fire incident management team. “Obviously we’re always going to try and get hand crews and dozers in there but in situations like this where you have some pretty rugged, rocky terrain up here it might not have been safe to have crews be in those areas. The heavy tankers obviously dropping retardant had a strong impact on the containment of that fire.

“I know we were sending fire crews up there (Canada) earlier and inter-country co-operation is probably going to get bigger in the future.”

READ ALSO: BC Wildfire called in to help battle U.S. blaze near Osoyoos

The fire reportedly started just before 2 p.m. Wednesday and initial response included a total of nine aircraft including the two from B.C., along with ground crews and equipment.

In addition to the containment zone, the blaze destroyed about 101.5 hectares (350 acres) with wind and topography pushing it through sagebrush, bunchgrass and Ponderosa pines.

READ ALSO: Firefighters battling 4 new wildfires in northwest B.C.

Early afternoon Thursday Hoygaard said hot spots remained throughout the fire’s footprint.

“Crews are working on establishing containment around the fire and around structures using hand crews and wildland fire engines,” she said at the time.

At this stage, the cause of the fire remains under investigation and at one point Wednesday smoke from the fire could be seen from as far away as Osoyoos.

In this case the exchange program between the two countries for fighting wildfires is managed under the Northwest Compact Operating Plan which involves the provinces of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan along with the Yukon and Northwest Territories and the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

In this case according to a B.C. Wildfire Services spokesperson, the request was made by Washington State and it was determined the Penticton aircraft were available and dispatched to the fire. Costs are paid for by the ordering agency.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

Aerial view of the Swanson Mill Fire in northern Washington State Wednesday. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

Aerial view of the Swanson Mill Fire in northern Washington State Wednesday. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

The area in red is the area of the Swanson Mill Fire in Washington State. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

The area in red is the area of the Swanson Mill Fire in Washington State. (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

Just Posted

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

sdaf
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames before around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kerry Hutter - contributed)
UPDATE: Kelowna man cuffed after carjacking in Vernon

Crime spree: Man robs couple at Coldstream lookout at gunpoint, sets a vehicle ablaze

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read