For Immediate Release
September 6, 2003

Ministry of Forests


Extreme fire behaviour expected tonight

KELOWNA – The fire remained active today along the eastern flank in the upper Myra canyon, though no significant spread occurred.

B.C. Forest Service officials confirmed today that two more Myra Canyon trestles were destroyed last night and today bringing the total to nine destroyed and two damaged.  The remaining trestles continue to be at risk.  Helicopters continue to drop fire retardant and target hot spots as visibility permits.  Contol operations in the Myra canyon are limited due to the extremely rugged terrain and volatile fire conditions.

Winds are expected to strengthen overnight and tomorrow.  An extreme fire behaviour warning has been put into effect from 8:00 pm tonight until 8:00 pm Sunday.  While it is too early to tell how large tonight’s excursions will be, tinder dry forests, high temperatures and high winds make the situation extremely serious.

If the forecast winds materialize fire activity will increase on the slopes and will be visible from Kelowna.  People are asked to avoid travelling to the affected areas.  Congestion increases the risk of an accident and emergency officials need to be able to deploy equipment in a timely manner.

Fire fighters can only conduct limited fire suppression activities during the night and only when it is safe to do so.  While a lot may be happening in terms of fire spread and behaviour we will not be able to provide on-going information as it will not be available to us.  Generally fire information is made available after we have had the opportunity to have a thorough look at the fire in daylight.