Controlled burn increases size of Eagle Bluff wildfire

The Eagle Bluff wildfire burning near Oliver, B.C., has grown yet again in size, though this time due to planning and not spontaneous expansion.

On Saturday morning, BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the out-of-control blaze is now estimated at 2,680 hectares after its perimeter was tracked Friday night.

That’s up from 2,260 hectares earlier Friday, though BC Wildfire was predicting a growth in size.

Eagle Bluff wildfire now 2,260 hectares, crews test new night-vision tech

“Yesterday growth was predominantly towards the northwest due to southerly winds,” BCWS said in its Saturday morning update. “However this growth did not threaten structures or communities.

“Most of this growth was due to a planned ignition that occurred yesterday evening. Cool weather conditions mean not much growth is expected to occur today.”

According to BC Wildfire, the planned ignition occurred south of Manuel’s Canyon along McKinney Road, and established control lines on the east flank on top of the plateau while also moving the blaze into more workable terrain.

Harry Baker

Harry Baker

Harry Baker
The Eagle Bluff

The Eagle Bluff

Harry Baker

WATCH BELOW (Aired Aug. 9, 2019): The Eagle Bluff wildfire is expected to continue to grow over the weekend.

“A planned ignition to move the fire southeast towards the control line may occur today dependent on weather conditions,” said BC Wildfire. “More updates will be provided if this planned ignition does occur.”

There are said to be 169 personnel on-site Saturday, including support staff, while there were 57 firefighters on the scene overnight. Also, 15 helicopters are battling the blaze, along with 19 pieces of heavy equipment.

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Approximately 250 properties remain under an evacuation alert.

BCWS said structure protection teams have been stationed throughout communities as a precautionary measure.

For Saturday, BCWS said plans include constructing guards in operable areas along the east flank and northeast corner, and building a retardant line in areas inoperable to heavy equipment along the north flank.

BCWS added crews are being continually challenged by the steep and rocky terrain in the area, and site safety is a priority.

WATCH BELOW (Aired Aug. 8, 2019): Thunderstorms forecast for region where Eagle Bluff wildfire is burning

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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