A wildfire at the north end of Okanagan Lake sent smoke over the Vernon area Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Karin Marshall photo)

A wildfire at the north end of Okanagan Lake sent smoke over the Vernon area Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Karin Marshall photo)

UPDATE: Okanagan Lake wildfire peaked at 100 hectares, no new growth

BC Wildfire Service updated its size estimate for the blaze Friday afternoon

Update: 3:30 p.m. April 2

The fire beside Okanagan Lake that sparked Thursday afternoon grew to about 100 hectares in windy conditions, but has not seen any growth Friday.

BC Wildfire Service information officer Nicole Bonnett said Friday the agency was working Friday to get a more accurate estimate of the fire’s size, though the blaze is considered held.

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BC Wildfire Service isn’t yet sure how large yesterday’s fire became after winds fanned the flames on the east side of Okanagan Lake, but they do know the growth has now stemmed.

The fire that broke out off Westside Road near Vernon Thursday (April 1) is listed at 10 hectares. Fire information officer Nicole Bonnett said Friday morning the fire is now being held, but crews are still tracing the perimeter to determine its exact size.

“We didn’t get a chance to track it better yesterday so we’re hoping to do that today,” she said. “We don’t expect the fire to grow beyond its current perimeter.”

The fire is on Okanagan Indian Band land, but BC Wildfire has been lending a hand with the response. The agency sent a three-person initial attack unit to the blaze yesterday and has sent another today.

It’s been a dry March, but Bonnett says it’s not unusual this time of year, after the winter thaw but before the “green-up” of spring, for dry fuels and a higher fire risk.

“It’s a good reminder for everybody to be cautious with their fire use. If you’re having a campfire outside over the long weekend or you’re doing some yard cleanup, make sure you’re following all of the open burning regulations and all of the rules in place.”

Another fire sparked Thursday in the Shuswap near Chase. BC Wildfire says that fire is also being held at 22 hectares.

READ MORE: Wildfire burning west of Chase not expected to grow

READ MORE: Funds stump wildfire risk near Lumby


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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