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Crews work through night to protect property from Penticton, B.C., wildfire

PENTICTON, B.C. — The British Columbia Wildfire Service says a crew of 40 firefighters worked through the night to try to protect property from a fire raging near Penticton, B.C.

The service says the 20-square kilometre fire is burning in difficult rocky sloped terrain with limited access points for ground crews and heavy equipment.

It has so far destroyed one home and prompted an evacuation order affecting hundreds of people. 

However, the Wildfire Service says strong winds that fanned the flames yesterday have now dissipated.

An additional 60 firefighters, along with another helicopter, are also expected to be deployed today to attack the blaze, joining the 132 firefighters and 15 choppers already on site. 

The Wildfire Service is also sending in more teams to set up sprinkler systems to protect 37-hundred homes, whose residents have been warned to be ready to leave with little notice.

Penticton fire Chief Larry Watkinson said it’s hoped the sprinklers will create a humidity bubble, which will help prevent airborne embers from starting new blazes.

Meanwhile, heavy smoke from the fire led Environment Canada to issue an air-quality warning yesterday afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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