Extreme heat worries firefighters

Area of Cisco Road fire which saw a flare-up Saturday. (B.C. Wildfire Management Branch)

Area of Cisco Road wildfire that saw a flare-up Saturday. (B.C. Wildfire Management Branch)

NEWS/ WILDFIRES — Action stepped up today on the long-burning Cisco Road wildfire 10 km. south of Lytton, prompting a surge in efforts to contain it.

The B.C. Wildfire Service reported tonight that it responded with 15 firefighters to bolster containment lines at higher elevations, along with four helicopters for bucketing and crew support.

Extreme weather conditions, including record high temperatures and extremely low relative humidity, were blamed for the increase in fire activity. That area of the fire had been in “modified response.”

The fire. which started June 11, is estimated at 2,174 hectares.

Current weather conditions have created an environment where extreme wildfire behaviour could occur in most areas of the Kamloops Fire Centre, the wildfire service said.  “This is a result of high temperatures, low relative humidity and the potential for wind and dry lightning.”

The Fire Danger Rating has risen substantially in recent days and is now at “high” to “extreme” throughout the region.

Earlier today, the wildfire service reported that firefighters were forced to halt air operations on the Westside Road wildfire near Kelowna due to multiple drones overhead the fire. A helicopter supporting ground crews and involved in water delivery was grounded.

All wildfires are considered to be “Flight Restricted” as per the Canadian Air Regulations. The area restricted is within a radius of five nautical miles around the fire and to an altitude of 3,000 ft. above ground level.

“This aerial activity is dangerous, and poses a significant safety risk to personnel, especially when low-flying firefighting aircraft are present,” a wildfire spokesperson said.

The Kamloops Fire Centre is urging extreme caution in the backcountry and asking everyone in the region to refrain from activities that may cause a wildfire. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone.

About Mel Rothenburger (8416 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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