Forestry crews are currently battling a forest fire in Lake Country.

Forestry crews are currently battling a forest fire in Lake Country.

Winds whip up fire near Mabel Lake

Fire near Cottonwood Creek, outside of Lumby, grows from 1.5 to 40 hectares

One of a dozen wild fires sparked in the Lumby/Cherryville area by lightning last week has grown substantially.

What was a 1.5 hectare fire Thursday afternoon east of Mabel Lake is now 40 hectares.

The blaze, burning near Cottonwood Creek, is not threatening any cabins or structures in the area.

“The challenge is, out there it’s in very steep terrain,” said Kevin Skrepnek, Kamloops Fire Centre information officer.

“Heavy fuels are also making it difficult to create a fuel-free area around the fire to contain it.”

There are currently 65 personnel on site, supported by helicopters and heavy equipment. The blaze is 15 per cent contained.

“While it has grown, it seems to be staying within the guards we created yesterday,” said Skrepnek.

The other fires, east of Mabel Lake and northeast of Sugar Lake, are only .1 and .2 of a hectare in size.

North Okanagan residents, and tourists, are reminded that a campfire ban is still in effect for the area.

The ban was lifted for other areas of the Kamloops Fire Centre (Kamloops, Salmon Arm and Merritt) last week.

But bans remain in place for Vernon and Penticton.

“A lot more rain fell everywhere else except for those areas (Vernon and Penticton),” said Skrepnek. “If conditions are still wet and cool next we will consider (lifting the ban).”