Eagle Bluff Wildfire - UPDATE
The BC Wildfire Service now lists the Eagle Bluff blaze south of Okanagan Falls as a "fire of note". It no longer threatens structures of any kind. But there's plenty of work to be done before the threat disappears. 2632 hectares have been charred but little or no growth has been reported.
Today, crews will continue to build guard and complete mop up and patrol. Preparation continues for a planned ignition on the northern flank, and crews are taking advantage of the current weather conditions to complete indirect attack line. This means the crews will be building guard in areas where the fire has not yet burned, so that once the planned ignition occurs the fire can be brought toward them on their own terms.
The upcoming planned ignition operation will help to support crews gain containment on the northern perimeter of the fire. While it may currently seem like there is nothing burning, the Eagle Bluff wildfire is still classified as out of control and there is still active fire, it is just not putting up much smoke at this time.
The Build Up Index (a system the BC Wildfire Service uses to measure the combined cumulative effects of daily drying and precipitation in fuels) is currently high, meaning that the ground beneath the fire is very dry and the fire is burning deep within root systems. As the fire is burning quite deep in the ground, it is expected that with the warm, dry weather coming up this week there will be an increase in fire activity again.
Additionally, the fire is currently burning in some inoperable areas. The planned ignition operation will allow crews to safely create a controlled fuel-free area around the fire to prevent it from spreading further. We do not anticipate much mortality of the trees during this planned ignition, as this particular ecosystem actually thrives under some fire disturbance.
This planned ignition will only occur if conditions are right for it. As hot conditions return and crews continue to work in steep and rocky terrain, safety remains the number one priority.