On Alert – An Update after the wind storm

Welcome back to “Life and Random Thinking,” I appreciate your visit.

In my previous post “On Alert” I shared the apprehension the whole city of Penticton was feeling as we faced the 70 kilometre winds blowing from the south on Friday. No one knew what to expect.

Friday was a blustery day, and the crews were working hard all day Thursday, overnight and on Friday hoping to contain the Christie Mountain Fire.

The fire was already 2000 hectares (10,000 square metres or 2.47 acres) Thursday night. Friday I rode my bike down to Skaha Lake, not far, and watched the Sikorsky helicopters hard at work. The fire was so close to the lake, the Sikorsky’s were like bees buzzing back and from the lake to the nearby fire. I was able to the Sikorsky’s close up, and from underneath. A hose and snorkel to pump water hangs below the huge helicopter; this hose fills the hold – up to 9,500 litres of water (or fire retardant).

Also smaller helicopters and air tankers were busy, I suspect all other air traffic at Penticton airport was cancelled.

At the beach the chopping of the heavy blades were right overhead, and I felt spray from the copter land on me as it flew overhead to its target. The wind was so heavy, sand was being blown off the beach and pelting my legs.

A day I won’t forget.

Saturday dawned, and I was anxious for an update. I felt relieved looking at Christie mountain not to see the heavy dark clouds of Tuesday, and the candling for trees as they burst into flame. Instead there is white smoke, and a sense of relief.

On Friday, here is the report I received.

The BC Wildfire Service said while wind gusts from the south did buffet the blaze, fire activity did not significantly increase.

On Saturday afternoon, BC Wildfire estimated the fire’s size to be at 2,035 hectares.

Further, BC Wildfire said approximately one millimeter of rain fell on the fire Friday.

“We were very fortunate yesterday with the wind event,” said Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson. “Although it was quite vigorous, above Penticton and on the hillsides, it was very soft on the fire.

The factors that helped prevent the fire’s spread were:

The combined work of ground of air crews slowing the growth.

The fire was running into a former 1994 fire, so not as much forest fuel was available, which helped taking the “steam” out of it.

We didn’t see a lot of expansion. A lot of work was done to keep areas wet, and that crews didn’t see any ignitions from ember transplants or ash-fly, or “any real damage to structures at all.


This post isn’t cooperating at all, WordPress is using a new editor, and I am having a hard time here. Arrgh ! 🙂

I will try to add some photos I took yesterday. – David

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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12 Responses to On Alert – An Update after the wind storm

  1. My husband is close by and watched the helicopters coming and going. Some of the fire crews were sent home today as it was decided that the fire is under control. I think that the proximity of Skaha Lake was a huge help. Crews were really able to soak everything down. It’s so good to know that it’s contained. The fire crews and all the others who organised the behind the scenes help are wonderful. Thanks for the update. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lghiggins says:

    I am glad you are safe. The pictures are great. I feel your pain with WordPress. I too was forced to jump kicking and screaming into the Wonderland of the new editor this week. It is as abstruse as others have said.


  3. Appreciate the update, Dave, and hope things are still relatively calm today. And yes, I’m having difficulty with the new WordPress editor too! Can’t seem to align my text with photos. It’s a real pain.


  4. Sandra J says:

    Good to hear it is getting better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joni says:

    Glad to hear things are better. Are you in the Classic Editor within the new block editor or are you trying the actual block editor?


  6. I cannot imagine the terror the animals have trying to escape a forest fire! I heard millions of Koalas died in those Australian fires!


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