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End in sight for McDougall Creek wildfire in West Kelowna

The fire started on Tuesday, Aug. 15
Despite being held and more favourable conditions on the way, smoke from the McDougall Creek wildfire might still be visible during the fall season. (BC Wildfire Service)

For almost a week now, the McDougall Creek wildfire has been held, which means it’s unlikely to spread beyond its predetermined boundaries under the current conditions.

On Monday, Sept. 25, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations announced all remaining evacuation alerts have been rescinded, except for one property - 550 Westside Rd S, which remains on evacuation order.

This will remain in effect until Tuesday, Oct. 3 or until rescinded.

BC Wildfire Service is continuing to extinguish hot spots on the perimeter and identify additional hot spots using an aerial scan map. Other crews are starting to disassemble non-essential equipment.

Additionally, rehabilitation specialists are now on scene in critical areas and they begin their operations. They will be working in the area through the fall season.

With large wildfires like McDougall Creek, which is 13,970.4 hectares in size, even when being held, it’s common to continue to see smoke in the area.

“If you see smoke coming from well within a fire’s perimeter and the area is surrounded by black, burned material, this is typically not a concern,” said BC Wildfire Service. “However, smoke rising from green, unburned fuel or from outside a fire’s perimeter should be reported immediately by calling *5555 or 1-800-663-5555.”

BC Wildfire Service also reminded residents to drive with caution when returning home as many crews, including heavy equipment, are still on scene.

Transport Canada and the BCWS prohibit the use of drones of any size near a wildfire. The operation of any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities within a radius of five nautical miles around a fire, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), is illegal. Anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts may face penalties of up to $100,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

According to Environment Canada, there is a 60-70 per cent chance of showers for the rest of the week, until Saturday, Sept. 30.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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