A helicopter bucketing water at the Richter Mountain wildfire on Sunday. (BC Wildfire photo)

Richter Mountain wildfire in Similkameen now held

Monday’s suppression efforts will be focused on the ground

UPDATE: 3:21 p.m.

The Richter Mountain wildfire is now considered held.

More than 100 BC Wildfire crews remain on scene focusing on ground suppression efforts with less emphasis on air support.

Crews are working in steep terrain with loose rock and site safety is a priority.

An evacuation alert issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre (RDOS EOC) on July 26 for 10 properties in Electoral Area “B” is rescinded. The properties are located in Cawston, west of Osoyoos in Electoral Area “B.”

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The Richter Mountain wildfire, 14 kilometres south of Cawston, is now estimated to be 403 hectares in size.

According to BC Wildfire, the fire is showing a low level of activity and is primarily a smouldering ground fire that is not producing a lot of smoke.

Fire information officer Jody Lucius said Monday’s suppression efforts will be focused on the ground, with less emphasis on air support, as additional crews are onsite. The crews are working in steep terrain with loose rock and she said site safety is a priority.

READ MORE: Less aggressive behaviour from Richter Mountain blaze

According to BC Wildfire, a plan is in place to assess and fall danger trees that could be a hazard to crews. Helicopters will continue bucketing today to cool hot spots of the fire. Crews will continue to work 24 hours a day on the fire.

More than 100 personnel, nine helicopters and heavy equipment worked on the fire on Sunday. Helicopters were bucketing water to cool hot spots and slow the fire spread. Ground crews and heavy equipment were building a guard on the north and east portions of the fire.

READ MORE: Neighbours work to battle blaze near Cawston

The Richter Mountain wildfire is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike on July 24. The evacuation alert for 10 Cawston properties remains in place.

The smoky skies bulletin for the Similkameen has not yet been updated by Interior Health for Monday. However, Seven Stones winery posted on social media on Sunday that the smoke was moving away from them and it was business as usual for them.

Drivers are reminded that when travelling on Highway 3 through his area to proceed slowly without stopping and to watch for falling rocks and debris along the highway.

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