Additional crews from U.S. help battle Eagle Bluff wildfire near Osoyoos – Okanagan


Over 20 specialized groundcrew wildfire fighters from south of the border have been deployed to the Eagle Bluff wildfire burning near Osoyoos.

“We have a U.S. hotshot crew coming up from the states, that are currently responding to the portion of the wildfire burning south of the Canada/United States border,” said Shaelee Stearns, BC Wildfire Service information officer, on Saturday.

“Today, they’ll be coming up to the portion burning north of the border and assisting us on the northern flank of the fire.”

Members of the hotshot crew must undergo intense training to be accepted, as they’re specifically trained to work the hottest parts of a wildfire.

Click to play video: 'Smoke hovers over parts of B.C.’s Interior'

Smoke hovers over parts of B.C.’s Interior

BC Wildfire Service says it maintains standing agreements with other wildfire-fighting agencies whenever the province experiences heightened wildfire activity.

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“Under this agreement, obviously this fire is burning on both portions of the border, so there’s a lot of collaboration and communication involved in the response to this incident,” Stearns said.

“There is a U.S. incident management team actioning the portion burning south of the border and then the B.C. incident management team actioning the portion burning north of the border.”

The Eagle Bluff wildfire is currently estimated at 7,060 hectares on the Canadian side of the border alone, after crews were successful in completing a large-scale planned ignition to contain the fire’s west flank.

Click to play video: 'Planned ignitions underway on Osoyoos wildfire'

Planned ignitions underway on Osoyoos wildfire

“Crews remained on site late into the evening, mopping up and patrolling, and the night shift continued with a crew and structural protection personnel monitoring the area, especially on the northern flank in the Kilpoola area,” Stearns said.

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“Over the last few days since those planned ignitions, we are seeing decreased fire activity, especially along the flanks of the fire.”

Wildfire activity on Saturday afternoon remained relatively low following the completion of the planned ignition, but BC Wildfire Service says it will continue to monitor the weather, as winds are expected to shift Saturday evening.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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