For Immediate Release
September 7, 2003
12:30 PM

Ministry of Forests

winds cause Fire spread

KELOWNA – The Okanagan Mountain Park fire is estimated to be 25,300 hectares in size.  Resources in place include 650 fire-fighters, 20 helicopters and 200 pieces of heavy equipment.  Additional air support is being provided by air tankers.

As predicted, winds occurred over the fire area resulting in a size increase of 1,300 hectares.  The fire spread was from the upper Myra canyon in a northerly direction toward McCulloch Road.  The wind direction was favourable and pushed the fire up on the top of the hills, away from Kelowna residences.

Today’s forecasted winds will continue to push the fire away from residences.  Crews are engaged in operations to steer the head of the fire away from town, and keep it up on the hills.  Fire fighters continue to work under an extreme fire behaviour warning which is in effect until 8:00 pm tonight.  The priority for fire officials is the protection of structures with wildland and structural fire fighters working together.

B.C. Forest Service officials can confirm the loss of three more trestles in Myra canyon.  The total for the Kettle Valley Railway is twelve wooden trestles destroyed and 2 metal trestles damaged.  The four remaining trestles continue to be at risk.  If safe to work around Trestle 1 crews will attempt to set up a sprinkler system to provide additional protection.