UPDATE: Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire under control

NowMedia Staff | August 19, 2018 in Wildfire

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(UPDATE: Aug. 19 @ 7:45 p.m.) - BCWS has a handle on the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire and are now considering it under control.

The wildfire was declared being held on Saturday following the establishment of control lines around its perimeter. Gottfriedsen also saw assistance from Canadian Forces yesterday.

Low temperatures and relatively high humidity in the area led to decreased fire activity from the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire on Sunday.

As a result of the fire's new status, all resources no longer required will be allocated to other incidents with only necessary personnel and equipment being left to conduct mop-up operations.

(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 8 p.m.) - BCWS has some good news for the Kamloops Fire Centre, having deemed the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire as "being held."

Crews and heavy equipment have successfully established control lines around the entire perimeter of the fire with water bladders established to improve water delivery to fuel-free hose lays. 

Currently, there are 119 personnel on-site, which includes 70 military personnel, as well as four pieces of heavy equipment.

The Evacuation Alert for this fire was rescinded earlier Saturday afternoon. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 7:15 p.m.) - Crews are in the process of establishing hose lays around the fire to assist in mop-up operations of the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire. 

Crews have been able to successfully construct control lines around the perimeter of the fire and are continuing to consolidate the lines. 

Poor radio communications have posed challenges for the 77 personnel and four units of equipment on site. One of their objectives through Friday was to install a repeater at the location to rectify the issue.

No further information on the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire is available. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 9:40 a.m.) - The BC Wildfire Service reports no further growth at the Gottfriedsen wildfire this morning. 

Nicole Bonnet, fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, says that conditions have be cooperating and crews continue to make good progress at the scene. 

Today there are 77 personnel at the site with four pieces of heavy equipment. They will continue to work on patrolling for hot spots and conducting mop up. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 16 @ 10:26 a.m.) - The BC Wildfire Service has some good news from the frontlines of the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire this morning. 

After better mapping, officials have a new size estimate for the fire. It is almost 100 hectares smaller than originally estimated. The previous estimate was 730 hectares, but now it is estimated at 633 hectares. 

Information Officer Nicole Bonnet says that they were able to get a better idea of the true size of the fire because of smoke dissipating a little bit, and the estimate could still change. 

For now, crews are making good progress at the fire. Bonnet says that they have established a control line all the way around the fire and cooler temperatures and the precipitation the fire received last week has helped keep activity overnight minimal. 

Today there are 81 personnel on site with some heavy equipment working on mopping up hot spots and patrolling. They will have air support if necessary, but Bonnet says ground crews have been doing a good job on their own. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 15 @ 1:10 p.m.) - It's been another day of positives for the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire.

The blaze remains at 730 hectares, where it's been measured at for the last 48 hours, with 69 firefighters and five pieces of heavy equipment on site.

"Crews will continue to mop up and extend hose lay around the fire," says the latest update from BC Wildfire.

"Heavy equipment will continue working to expand access routes and danger tree assessment will continue throughout the day."

Evacuation alerts remain in place in the Pennask Lake and Hatheume Lake areas, which you can learn more about by clicking this link.

(UPDATE: Aug. 14 @ 1:50 p.m.) - The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire hasn't shown any growth in the past 24 hours.

It remains at 730 hectares with 69 firefighters and five pieces of heavy equipment working on suppression efforts.

Today, crews have been establishing a hose lay to commence mop up operations and will continue to patrol for hot spots along the fire line.

(UPDATE: Aug. 13 @ 10:30 p.m.) - BCWS has recorded no change in size at the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire over Monday, attributing the smoky weather to an inability to properly map size difference. 

However, Nicole Bonnett, BCWS Fire Information Officer, stated that crews made good progress throughout the day.

"The crews that were out there today did a really good job at continuing control lines and punching in more guard. They're feeling in a good place with the progress that they've made," explained Bonnett.

Cooler temperatures overnight have also assisted in decreasing fire behaviour at the Gottfriedson Mountain wildfire.

Although the fire has affected mapping and scanning the area, it hasn't noticeably impacted suppression efforts, says BCWS.

Bonnett also noted that the smoke can affect public reporting of fires, saying, "When the smoke clears if you think you're seeing a new fire don't hesitate to report it because with all the smoke in the air it can limit the ability to identify new fire starts."

Evacuation Alerts for the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire remain in place. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 13 @ 12:10 p.m.) - The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire has grown to 730 hectares.

The fire, which is located about 25 kilometres west of West Kelowna and eight kilometres north of Hwy 97C (the Connector), is still not threatening any structures.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire

There are 52 firefighters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment working on suppression efforts, which are being headed by the incident management team that was previously assigned to the Placer Mountain wildfire.

"Crews will work to complete control lines around the entire fire and commence mop up," says a release from BC Wildfire regarding today's objectives. "Danger tree assessors (and) fallers will assist where required."

The statement adds that aviation resources can be activated for bucket support if called for.

One challenge with this fire is that it's very patchy, which makes it difficult for crews to find a solid edge.

Poor visibility, due to the lingering smoke, is also hindering aviation efforts.

(UPDATE: Aug. 12 @ 11:20 a.m.) - BC Wildfire Service is reporting no overnight growth of the wildfire burning 24 km west of West Kelowna. 

Nicole Bonnett, information officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre, reports that crews were able to make good progress over the course of yesterday and this morning due to better conditions. 

Crews were able to take advantage of the cooler weather, and some precipitation also reached the fire.

They have the fire 75% guarded at this time and the fire is exhibiting rank one behaviour this morning, meaning it is now a smouldering ground fire. 

They aren't expecting any significant weather systems like the one we had yesterday, and winds are expected to be moderate, which will be helpful for firefighters at the scene. 

There are five firefighters and three pieces of heavy equipment at the fire today. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 11 @ 10:50 p.m.) - It was all quiet on the Gottfriedsen Mountain front Saturday with little to no growth of the wildfire. 

The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire is still measured at 550 hectares, although, the stable size is due to an inability to properly map the fire Saturday and is not reflective of growth or suppression efforts.

Crews were actioning the fire throughout Saturday with 14 firefighters and three units of heavy equipment. Unlike Friday night, there will be no overnight tackling of the fire.

Evacuation Alerts remain in effect for the Pennask Lake and Hatheume Lake areas.

(UPDATE: Aug. 11 @ 12:40 p.m.) - The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire is still estimated at 550 hectares, and BC Wildfire Service says that the fire began to burn back on itself last night with a shift in winds.

Yesterday this fire's rate of spread was slower due to the moderately better conditions.

Crews and heavy equipment have accomplished good progress on the west flank and they continue to build guard.

Last night, nine personnel and three pieces of heavy equipment stayed at the fire. Today, this fire will be resourced with 14 personnel and three pieces of heavy equipment.

(UPDATE: Aug. 10 @ 10:25 p.m.) - The expected Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire expansion was hindered by the elements this evening.

According to BCWS, the wind on Friday was weaker than Thursday's causing minimal growth. Moreover, the wind shifted earlier this evening and caused the fire to burn back on itself. The fire is still estimated at 550 hectares.

Dispatched to the wildfire for Friday's actioning were nine firefighters supported by three units of heavy equipment and air support. The nine personnel and heavy equipment will continue operations at the wildfire through the night.

The Evacuation Alert for areas near Pennask Lake and Hatheume Lake are still in effect. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 10 @ 4 p.m.) - The BC Wildfire Service says that the Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire is still estimated at 550 hectares, however that could change when they are able to map the fire more accurately. 

The fire is still exhibiting extreme behviour and is expected to continue to grow, but Brenna Ward, information officer for BC Wildfire Service, says that conditions were more in their favour than yesterday. She adds that that could change as winds pick up this evening. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 10 @ 10:30 a.m.) - The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire, located just off Hwy 97C (the Connector) about 25 kilometres west of West Kelowna, has grown to 550 hectares.

Seven firefighters made up a night crew and worked on the blaze overnight, along with one piece of heavy equipment, and that same number is expected to work on the blaze today.

The BC Wildfire Service has requested more heavy equipment to aid the firefighters and fire warden crews, which are auxiliary BC Wildfire employees, will be arriving on scene today to provide assistance.

According to fire information officer Brenna Ward, the fire is still considered 'out of control' and is expected to grow under adverse conditions.

Another hot, dry and smoky day is on tap for the region, with gusts of wind that could get up to 40-50 kilometres per hour.

There's also a risk of thunderstorms on tap for this afternoon, dry lightning at that, which could continue into Saturday as well.

Saturday's potential thunderstorms could potentially bring some rain with them, however, which would be a positive for crews battling the fire. 

The aggressively burning wildfire has caused a few areas along the Connector to go under evacuation alert, including:

NowMedia will continue to update this story as information changes.

(UPDATE: Aug. 9 @ 9:30 p.m.) - A large area of the Pennask Summit is now under evacuation alert due to the Mount Gottfriedsen wildfire.

Photo Credit: Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Hwy 97C, pictured with an orange route near the bottom of the map, is the main connecting route between the Okanagan and the Coquihalla Highway.

The nearby wildfire continues to burn aggressively and as of 9:00 p.m. the following areas are under alert: 

What You Should Do When an Alert is in Effect:

  1. Locate all family members and be prepared to evacuate your residence and property to an
    identified safe reception center.
  2. Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (insurance).
  3. Prepare to move any disabled persons and children.
  4. Collect pets and pet needs.
  5. If possible, move livestock to a safe area.

Read NowMedia's most recent update on the fire itself below:

(UPDATE: August 9 @ 8:20 p.m.) - BC Wildfire Service is reporting that the wildfire burning on Gottfriedsen Mountain, 24 km west of West Kelowna, has now grown to an estimated 400 hectares in size. 

Brenna Ward with Wildfire Services says the fire is "wind driven" and following cut blocks full of "red and dead" timber along the mountainside. The fire is expected to grow overnight, however, no structures are threatened at this time.

The previous estimated size of the blaze was 200 hectares and BC Wildfire Service says the wildfire is still aggressively burning. 

Three helicopters have been working on the fire, bucketing water while seven ground personnel battle the blaze along with heavy operating equipment. 

The fire is believed to be lighting caused and crews will continue to closely monitor the area throughout the night. 

More Info!

(UPDATE: August 9 @ 5:20 p.m.) - The wildfire burning on Gottfriedsen Mountain, 24 km west of West Kelowna, has now grown to an estimated 100 hectares in size. 

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is expected to continue growing quickly and aggressively. 

(UPDATE: August 9 @ 4 p.m.) - The BC Wildfire Service says that the fire burning west of West Kelowna is estimated at 30 hectares, however it is growing fast. 

Wildfire Information Officer Brenna Ward says that the fire is displaying fairly aggressive fire behaviour, between rank three and rank five. 

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire Service

They are responding with air tankers and well as helicopters, ground crews, and heavy equipment. 

The fire is still not threatening any structures at this time. 

Smoke may become visible to residents of West Kelowna as the afternoon progresses.

(Original Story: August 9 @ 3:30 p.m.) 

The BC Wildfire Service says that they are responding to a new fire outside of West Kelowna this afternoon.

The fire is located 24 km west of the community and about 8 km north of Highway 97C on Gottfriedsen Mountain.

Photo Credit: BC Wildfire Service

BC Wildfire Service says that the fire is “aggressive.” No structures are threatened at this time.

Now Media will update this story as information becomes available.

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