Residents of the Central and South Okanagan are being warned about a large controlled burn that has started near Peachland.
The BC Wildfire Service, Penticton Indian Band and Okanagan Nation Alliance are conducting a 170-hectare burn with support from Gorman Brothers Ltd. in West Kelowna and the Okanagan Shuswap Resource District.
Preparation for the burn is underway and BCWS spokesperson Taylor Colman reached out to Castanet in an effort to let people in the area who see the fire and smoke should not be alarmed.
"We're already getting calls about the work we're doing so please let people know this is a prescribed burn. There's no risk of fire and, and the main operations not happening yet we are just doing some preparation, and there's a lot of smoke," says Colman.
The Penticton Indian Band and the BC Wildfire Service are monitoring and controlling the fire at all times. Flames and smoke may be visible from Penticton, Summerland, Peachland, West Kelowna, and Kelowna as well as travellers along Highways 97 and 97C.
Smoke may be visible through until the end of November but the controlled burn is dependent on weather conditions, "we will only burn if the weather co-operates and there is enough wind to clear the smoke, obviously rain will impact our ability to finish the work," Colman says.
Colman says the prescribed burn is an effort to mitigate future wildfires.
"There's a fuel load there, a lot of built up vegetation that were just trying to take care of, downed trees and just a lot of that dry vegetation. So we're using fire to remove that, and then in turn, reducing the wildfire risk."
The burn area is about five kilometres southwest of Peachland up the Monroe Forest Service Road.
Preparation work on the Munro prescribed burn project located ~5km SW of #Peachland up the Munro FSR will be taking place today. Personnel will be blacklining, which is the pre-burning and extinguishment of fuels adjacent to the main area of the prescribed burn. pic.twitter.com/WJqPfNjPY6— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) October 18, 2022