For Immediate Release
September 6, 2003
10:00 AM

Ministry of Forests

fight to save trestles continues

KELOWNA The Okanagan Mountain Park fire is estimated to be 24,000 hectares in size.  Resources in place include 650 fire-fighters, 20 helicopters and 200 pieces of heavy equipment.

The 400 hectares of fire spread over the last twenty-four hours has been mainly along the eastern perimeter in the upper elevations.

The fire continues to be active in Myra Canyon.  The canyon is deep with very steep, rugged sides.  This is preventing heavy equipment and ground crews from being used to establish control lines.  Bucketing with helicopters was used extensively yesterday to protect the remaining trestles along the Kettle Valley Railway.  The same is planned for today if smoke conditions allow.

Crews continue to mop up and patrol along the northern perimeter (section of the fire closest to Kelowna); and the southern perimeter (section of the fire adjacent to Naramata).

Winds are expected to be light for most of the day, cooler temperatures and minor amounts of precipitation are also included in the forecast.  There is a risk of late day dry thunderstorms passing through the area.  Strong gusty winds are expected to be associated with these storms.

Safety of the crews continues to be the highest priority as ground conditions are extremely dry and volatile.  A significant rain or a long period of stable conditions is required to help crews get the upper hand on this fire.

In an attempt to contain the fire and protect the Myra Canyon trestles; from September 1st to September 4th fixed wing aircraft have dropped 284,070 liters of retardant and 959,236 liters of water.