Firefighters contain wildfire west of Osoyoos

By on July 10, 2014
A wildfire burns very close to a house and other buildings off Old Richter Pass Road Wednesday afternoon, July 9. (Richard McGuire photo)

A wildfire burns very close to a house and other buildings off Old Richter Pass Road Wednesday afternoon, July 9. (Richard McGuire photo)

For the second time in a week, firefighters were battling a wildfire west of Osoyoos off Hwy. 3 on Wednesday.

That fire, which reached an estimated at 16 hectares, is now contained.

The fire burned close to structures, but houses in the area were spared.

The fire was reported shortly after 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9 off Old Richter Pass Road between Hwy. 3 and Kruger Mountain Road.

Although winds were low, fire spread quickly through trees and brush, approaching at least one house.

As Osoyoos Fire Fighters arrived to inspect the blaze, a bird dog and tanker planes circled overhead and the tankers dropped retardant next to the flames.

In a bulletin released at 1:28 p.m. Thursday, the Wildfire Management Branch said the fire had reached an estimated 16 hectares.

Two water tenders, five air tankers and two helicopters responded to the incident, along with 50 firefighters. There were 33 personnel at the fire Thursday.

“It was showing quite aggressive fire behaviour when it started,” said Kayla Pepper, a spokesperson for the Kamloops Fire Centre. “It did burn in grass and in open timber, so there was quite a bit of smoke in the area and there are also some structures adjacent to the fire, so we hit the fire hard with resources both on the ground and in the air and were successful at protecting the homes in the area.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Osoyoos Fire Department was also onsite providing assistance.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

A fire and thick smoke enshroud vegetation off Old Richter Pass Road Wednesday afternoon, July 9. The fire was believed to have been started with a cigarette. (Richard McGuire photo)

A fire and thick smoke enshroud vegetation off Old Richter Pass Road Wednesday afternoon, July 9. The fire was believed to have been started with a cigarette. (Richard McGuire photo)

A wildfire burned July 9 at Old Richter Pass Road west of Osoyoos. (Richard McGuire photo)

A wildfire burned July 9 at Old Richter Pass Road west of Osoyoos. (Richard McGuire photo)

A wildfire burns next to Old Richter Pass Road on Wednesday afternoon, July 9. It was believed to have been started with a cigarette. (Richard McGuire photo)

A wildfire burns next to Old Richter Pass Road on Wednesday afternoon, July 9. It was believed to have been started with a cigarette. (Richard McGuire photo)

A water tanker sprays a wildfire next to Old Richter Pass Road before most emergency crews arrive on the scene. (Richard McGuire photo)

A water tanker sprays a wildfire next to Old Richter Pass Road before most emergency crews arrive on the scene. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos Fire Chief Rick Jones and other Osoyoos firefighters inspect the extent of the blaze as planes from the Wildfire Branch circle overhead. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos Fire Chief Rick Jones and other Osoyoos firefighters inspect the extent of the blaze as planes from the Wildfire Branch circle overhead. (Richard McGuire photo)

A tanker plane flies into dense smoke, dropping fire retardant near a house off Old Richter Pass Road. (Richard McGuire photo)

A tanker plane flies into dense smoke, dropping fire retardant near a house off Old Richter Pass Road. (Richard McGuire photo)

A tanker plane emerges from dense smoke after dropping a load of retardant on a wildfire off Old Richter Pass Road. (Richard McGuire photo)

A tanker plane emerges from dense smoke after dropping a load of retardant on a wildfire off Old Richter Pass Road. (Richard McGuire photo)

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