VIDEO: Clinton-area residents say controlled burn went ‘horribly wrong’

Officials point to a “dramatic and unforecasted shift” in the wind

Residents near 20 Mile Ranch and south of Clinton are voicing their anger on social media after what they call a “controlled burn gone horribly wrong” caused the flames to jump across Highway 97.

Photos posted to Facebook on Tuesday show heavy smoke near rural properties in the Loon Lake area near Maiden Creek.

“It was about 15 minutes from the time they started until the hydro transistor on the big pole blew apart and maybe a few more minutes until it crossed west onto Hwy 97,” one post on the 20 Mile Ranch Facebook group reads.

“There were some very strong winds blowing when they started that didn’t just magically appear after the burn was already going. This fire is now raging on another mountainside and it’s going to be a beastly one to gain any control on.”

Fire information officer Heather Rice said Wednesday morning fire crews were focused on holding the fire on the hill, away from the highway.

“We actioned that immediately with lots of water from the helicopters and air skimmers and were able to hold that fire,” Rice said. “It went up to the top of the ridge and then stalled, which is often what happens in the evening when a fire hits the top of a hill. So the plan today is, of course, to hold it in that particular spot.”

Highway 97 remains closed from Loon Lake to the Hwy. 99 junction. An evacuation order was issued for areas south and west of Clinton Wednesday afternoon.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said Wednesday afternoon there had been a “dramatic and unforecasted shift in the wind,” which caused the fire spillover.

“At the time it was ignited, the weather was as forecasted and a lot of design goes into when we do these things,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is when fires get to this size, the use of the controlled ignition is one of the best hacks that we have in terms of trying to control them.”

I am writing this post from Maiden Creek in the middle of our field at 4:15 am. It is with the saddest of heart that I…

Posted by Teri-Lyn Dougherty on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

— More to come.

Just Posted

New hospital cost to taxpayers still unknown

Ellis to probe budget estimates: “I’m still not convinced it will actually go ahead”

Ross is counting on Wilkinson to stick to his promise to fight for the north

Skeena BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross is counting on newly-elected BC Liberal… Continue reading

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

BC BUDGET: Tobacco tax hike may light up black market in smokes

NDP government adds another 56 cents per pack as of April 1

4 treatment centres to open in memory of B.C. teen who died of an overdose

A treatment centre for addictions is opening in Penticton after the first one fell through

Quesnel Soup event to crowdfund community improvement projects

Groups invited to pitch; event attendees will vote to help fund innovative community projects

BCHL Today: Merritt peaking at right time and Taylor signs with UNH Wildcats

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into third place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Most Read