The Palmer Lake wildfire as seen on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. (Okanogan County Emergency Management)

Wildfire burning across border with Okanagan now nearly half contained

Controlled burns are taking place around the outside of the fire to provide a buffer zone free of flammable materials

  • Aug. 26, 2020 10:00 a.m.

By Sophie Carrigan Gray, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Osoyoos Times

Fire crews are gaining ground on the Palmer Lake wildfire which is now reported to be 49 percent contained.

Crews continue to battle the blaze discovered Aug. 18, trying to establish a controlled perimeter.

The fire shrank overnight and is now down to 17,735 acres in size and located roughly 15 kilometres south of the Canadian border, according to maps provided by fire officials.

Cold winds over night Monday caused concern for firefighters, threatening to break through the established perimeters. Crews were able to keep the fire contained despite the winds.

Controlled burns are taking place around the outside of the fire to provide a buffer zone free of flammable materials to stem the spread of the fire. Crews are also using aircrafts to drop fire retardant and ignition to further secure the perimeter, according to fire officials.

“Firefighters made significant progress (Sunday),” said the Northwest Incident Management Team 6 in a written statement. “For the next few days, the focus will shift to mop-up and securing a 300 foot radius around structures in the fire area.”

Over 500 personnel continue to work on the fire. Evacuation orders remain in effect for two areas while evacuation alerts are in effect for two other areas near the towns of Oroville and Loomis.

The Town of Osoyoos Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is continuing to monitor the situation. The EOC is in regular contact with fire officials on both sides of the border to stay on top of the evolving situation.

A virtual public meeting will be held by Washington state fire officials at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25 via the Okanogan County Emergency Management Facebook page to provide an opportunity for questions and short presentation by the incident management team.

READ MORE: Wildfire burning across border with Osoyoos now 27% contained

READ MORE: U.S. wildfire quickly spreading towards border with Osoyoos


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