BC Wildfires 2021  

Garrison Lake wildfire southwest of Princeton grows to an estimated 1,150 hectares

Garrison fire 1,150 hectares

The Garrison Lake wildfire southwest of Princeton has grown to an estimated 1,150 hectares.

In a Sunday night update, the BC Wildfire Service says the fire continues to burn out of control.

As of Saturday, it was less than half that size, 450 hectares.

Growth observed in the last 24 hours reflects the fuel type and wind conditions in the area contributing to increased fire activity, the wildfire service says.

An evacuation alert is in effect for 141 properties and an evacuation order for two more.

The fire is being monitored with aerial resources, and industry contractors are working with heavy equipment to assist.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Fire crews protect Shrike subdivision as Nk'Mip fire conditions prove challenging

Fire conditions challenge

Fire behaviour continues to be aggressive and challenging as conditions remain hot and dry at the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire near Oliver.

In a Sunday night update, the BC Wildfire Service says firefighters worked overnight to protect structures in and near the Shrike subdivision.

One hundred firefighters arrived from Mexico over the weekend, and their first day on the fire line will be today.

On Sunday, Division A continued structure protection in the north, near Shrike and along Camp McKinney Road.

Patrol work will continue in the Nk'Mip Road area for hot spots. Crews will be looking for burn-off operation opportunities to reinforce existing guards and protect structures.

Division Z is continuing structure protection near the Anarchist Mountain community. Crews will also mop up and patrol around Spirit Ridge on the fire's southern perimeter.

Heavy equipment is working to create a cat guard around a small excursion near Shrike. Machine guard construction will progress from Shrike eastward. A line locator will prepare for building a new machine guard on the fire's east flank, aiming to connect with the ongoing construction of the southern machine guard.

The fire continues to burn out of control and is estimated to have burned 6,800 hectares.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place.

Increased fire activity at Brenda Creek blaze on Sunday

Brenda fire activity picks up

Fire behaviour increased Sunday at the Brenda Creek wildfire burning west of West Kelowna.

In a Sunday night update, the BC Wildfire Service says overall fire growth was minimal, however. The fire continues to be estimated at 824 hectares in size.

It is burning out of control south of the Okanagan Connector.

Five firefighters remained on site overnight to monitor the fire and protect high-value features.

Crews continue to work on reinforcement of guard lines and mop up under sections of the BC Hydro power line.

A high-volume water delivery system that was in place to protect the transmission line has been demobilized due to decreased risk.

On Sunday, crews continued to reinforce sections of guard line on the northwest corner of the fire by burning off the fuel between the guard and the fire with small, hand ignition operations.

An increase in fire activity may occur in the coming days as hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to persist. No precipitation is anticipated in the near future. These conditions will continue to challenge fire suppression efforts, the wildfire service says.

Forty-three properties remain under evacuation order, along with Eneas Lakes, Pennask Lake, Trepanier, and Pennask Creek provincial parks, and recreational camping areas northwest of Peachland.

Forty-six firefighters were assigned to the fire on Sunday, supported by four helicopters and 19 pieces of heavy equipment.

Seventeen firefighters from six different fire departments are also working on structure protection.

Wildfire near Westwold growing quickly on Sunday

Wind pushes Westwold fire

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.

High temperatures and increased winds pushed the White Rock Lake wildfire to grow quickly Sunday.

The BC Wildfire Service says the fire is now estimated at 9,414 hectares and isn't done growing.

"BC Wildfire Service personnel continue to work with industry partners on site to establish and reinforce guard lines, and to protect critical infrastructure. A structural protection specialist is on site, assessing and prioritizing critical infrastructure and properties," BCWS said earlier today.

ORIGINAL 7:15 a.m.

More help is arriving for the White Rock Lake wildfire burning between Westwold and Merritt.

In a Saturday night update, the BC Wildfire Service says fire behaviour increased in the Salmon Lake Road area yesterday.

Airtankers were used to lay retardant in the area in an effort to reduce fire activity. The fire also continued to move down slope on the north and northeast flanks.

Ground crews continue to reinforce machine guard lines by removing fuel between the guard and the fire.

Meanwhile, a fire camp is being set up at Salmon Lake Resort.

One hundred firefighters and 13 support staff from Quebec will arrive at the Okanagan Complex today. They will be staying in the camp and will be assigned to the White Rock fire. They will be briefed and oriented today and should be working on the fire by Monday, the wildfire service says.

On the ground, heavy equipment is being used to construct large, cleared areas at regular intervals along the guard lines. The "safe zones" provide crews and equipment a safe place to take shelter in if fire behaviour should suddenly increase.

A ground-based retardant unit reinforced guard lines Saturday, and four helicopters were bucketing water to cool and slow the spread of the fire.

The fire has burned an estimated 8,702 hectares and remains out of control.

Two Mile wildfire burning away from Sicamous, still estimated 1,000 hectares

No change in Two Mile fire

UPDATE: 6:05 p.m.

Firefighters continue to battle the Two Mile Road wildfire, still an estimated 1,000 hectares in size, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

In an information meeting hosted Sunday by the District of Sicamous and the Shuswap Emergency Program, Alan Berry, incident commander assigned to the blaze, said the focus of firefighting crews has been on the north and south perimeter.

“Going up the slopes, focusing on the flanks, trying to put out just the first 100 feet of perimeter to stop it from actually growing laterally towards the communities, Swansea to the south and Sicamous to the north,” Berry said.

He said the fire is currently moving slowly, “not moving with a ton of growth, but it’s still a lot of work.”

Berry said firefighting resources are thin, but after touring the north flank of the wildfire, he was “blown away” by the work completed so far to establish hose lays around parts of the blaze, especially as they are working in steep terrain.

“We continue [to] just push in from the perimeter in, and leave the interior to burn. So you will continue to see smoke from town. The smoke that’s in the air is from this fire, and multiple other fires, but it is to our advantage,” Berry said.

“It does limit our ability to use aircraft for suppression because obviously they need to see, to be able to drop buckets and to safely fly around, but it also takes down the temperatures, and we're definitely seeing that on the fire.”

There are 32 firefighters and three helicopters assigned to the blaze, with crews using 10 pieces of heavy equipment, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

There are also crews from the Sicamous and Swansea fire departments helping to fight the wildfire.

Brett Ogino, Fire Chief for the District of Sicamous, said there are two bush trucks, two structural engines, two structural tenders and two structure protection crews on scene to help fight the blaze.

Ogino said structure protection crews have done assessments and triage on a number of buildings in the area.

“Some folks are a little concerned that their place isn’t sprinklered. We have limited resources, so our job is to make sure that we manage those resources,” Ogino said.

“With the fire behaviour being not quite as crazy and the fire being up higher, that’s to our advantage. It gives our crews a little bit of a chance to get sorted, and we're operating very efficiently now that we have our crews tuned in.”

Tracy Hughes, communications coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and public information officer for the emergency operations centre, encouraged residents to check the CSRD website or the Shuswap Emergency Program website for updates.

Hughes said they launched Alertable, a new emergency mass notification system on Friday.

“You can get notifications by text, you can get notifications by email. And if you have bad internet, we don't all have good internet, if you've got a landline phone, it's going to alert to your phone. You can set it up and it's going to call you and let you know about an emergency alert,” Hughes said.

While earlier alert notifications will not be in the system, Hughes said any alerts going forward will be sent to residents who sign up for the system.

The highway to the area remains closed.

Ogino said their engines have been patrolling the highway to put out hot spots, and said although it has “calmed down considerably,” the road is still dangerous.

“The challenge is the area that's burned above is dropping trees on the power lines. We had one of our engines get stuck in behind a fairly sizeable tree that came right down to the highway. If it hit that truck it would have damaged it pretty severely and potentially injured our crew,” Ogino said.

“BC Wildfire Services, as far as I understand, is looking to bring in some danger tree fellers and get that cleaned up so we can open it as quickly as we can. But right now, I'm concerned for my crew is driving up and down that, so I certainly wouldn't want the public and a whole stream of traffic going through there, it's just an accident waiting to happen.”

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.

BC Wildfire Service still has 28 firefighters working the fire, today, Structural Protection Units (SPU) remain on scene and have day and night crews set up, says the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

The highway remains closed and there are no changes to evacuation orders and alerts.

At this time getting accurate mapping is difficult due to the smoke conditions hampering the aerial surveys.

The blaze is still estimated to be over 1,000 hectares in size.

ORIGINAL 6:58 a.m.

The Two Mile Road wildfire near Sicamous continues to burn away from the community.

A Saturday night update from the BC Wildfire Service still lists the fire as having burned an estimated 1,000-plus hectares.

The fire remains out of control.

Growth was reported away from Sicamous on Saturday, and crews are making good progress holding the fire guard with assistance from industry contractors, the wildfire service says.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place.

On Saturday, there were 32 firefighters battling the fire, along with three helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment.

The BC Wildfire Service continues to assist the Sicamous and Swansea Point fire department.

Crews will continue to work with heavy equipment and industry partners to increase the guard around the fire.

Janet Coburn

Village of Ashcroft said crews making 'excellent progress' on Tremont Creek wildfire, south flank continues to be active due to winds

'Excellent' work on Tremont

UPDATE: 5:11 p.m.

The north flank of the Tremont Creek fire has been exhibiting “no fire behaviour” while the south flank continues to be active due to strong winds, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

The BC Wildfire Service said crews have continued working Sunday to secure a machine guard from Barnes Lake south around the perimeter of the fire to the east by using small-scale hand ignitions.

“This tactic reduces fire growth and limits the possibility of spotting over machine guard,” the BC Wildfire Service said.

The Village of Ashcroft said in a statement on Sunday that the current threat to Ashcroft remains “minimal.”

"Crews continue to make excellent progress on the Tremont Creek fire," the statement said.

“Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Walhachin flanks of the fire are considered ‘secure’."

A two-hectare spot fire started across Highway 97C on Saturday night, near the southwest of the fire, which crews contained by early Sunday morning, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

According to the statement from the Village of Ashcroft, fire department crews were dispatched to this spot fire, but upon arrival it was found that BC Wildfire Service personnel and a structure protection team had the situation under control.

The statement said the spot fire on Highway 97C did not result in a highway closure, and advised travellers to check DriveBC for the most current status.

The Tremont Creek fire is still estimated to be 12,061 hectares in size.

Evacuation alerts and orders are still in place for communities near the blaze, including the Village of Ashcroft.

More information on which properties are affected can be found on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District website.

UPDATE: 10:16 a.m.

Personnel stationed at the Tremont Creek wildfire contained a small, two-hectare spot fire that crossed Highway 97C late Saturday night, the BC Wildfire Service said.

Fire Information Officer Forrest Tower said the main wildfire did not cross the highway, and the spot fire was contained by 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

“There was a spot that had crossed the highway. It’s been dealt with, and crews are finishing up that mop-up this morning,” Tower said.

The Tremont Creek wildfire, estimated at just over 12,000 hectares in size, has been mostly surrounded by machine guards.

The fire is still considered out of control.

Tower said while the north flank of the fire is looking “really good,” there has been some growth to the south, where the machine guard wasn’t quite completed.

“They’re putting guard around that now, and that’s the plan, is to keep wrapping it, but there is probably going to be a bit of growth.”

On Friday, the BC Wildfire Service said crews tackled another spot fire near Barnes Lake — southeast of Ashcroft — which was contained to five hectares.

“Air tankers, two heavy helicopters and ground crews worked throughout the day to extinguish the spot,” the BC Wildfire Service said.

ORIGINAL: 4:00 a.m.

Crews are making significant progress containing a massive fire near Ashcroft.

The BC Wildfire Service said Saturday night the 12,000-hectare Tremont Creek fire is now burning within machine guards, but is still classified as out-of-control.

“Crews and heavy equipment have wrapped most of the fire with machine guard,” BCWS said.

As of 8 p.m. on Saturday, active fire burning on the southwest flank of the fire had not passed existing guards.

“There is active fire on the southeast side that is creating a visible column. Crews are working in these areas to secure lines,” BCWS added.

Firefighters have been helped by less severe weather in the past few days.

Sixty firefighters, eight helicopters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment are assigned to the fire.

The Village of Ashcroft and Ashcroft Indian Band remain under precautionary evacuation alerts while the Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band are under evacuation order.

BC Wildfire Service says Durand Lake wildfire now under control

Durand fire under control

UPDATE: 3:47 p.m.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has rescinded evacuation orders and alerts in place for the Durand Lake wildfire.

The TNRD said an evacuation order put in place, as well as an evacuation alert for 170 properties, have been lifted as of Sunday afternoon.

According to the TNRD, an evacuation alert issued for the Tremont Creek Wildfire overlapped with an area near the Durand Lake wildfire. This alert is still in effect.

More information on properties with rescinded evacuation orders and alerts — or homes with alerts still in effect — can be found on the TNRD website.

The Durand Lake wildfire is now considered under control, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

"Sufficient fire suppression action has been taken to ensure no further spread of the fire will occur," the BC Wildfire Service said.

There are 15 BC Wildfire Service and contract crew members still on scene, monitoring and extinguishing hot spots.

ORIGINAL: 11:00 a.m.

The Durand Lake wildfire is now under control, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

The last estimate put the wildfire at about 289.5 hectares in size.

“Sufficient fire suppression action has been taken to ensure no further spread of the fire will occur,” the BC Wildfire Service said.

There are five BC Wildfire Service crew members and 35 contract personnel still working in the area.

Several properties are still under an evacuation order or evacuation alerts, according to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

The TNRD website has more information on which properties are impacted by these measures.

Three Valley Lake fire is moving away from the Three Valley Gap Chateau

3 Valley Lake still at 60 ha.

The Three Valley Lake wildfire remains at 60 hectares in size and is still burning out of control.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District reports the blaze is moving upslope away from the Three Valley Gap Chateau at this time.

Structural Protection Units remain mobilized with sprinklers in place. CP Rail has been using their trains to spray vegetation with water and fire retardant to protect the line, the CSRD says.

An evacuation order has been issued by the CSRD for Three Valley Lake including the area bordering the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway.

An evacuation alert has been issued by the CSRD for two properties west of the Trans-Canada highway.


Hunakwa wildfire at Seymour Arm grows to 2,000 hectares

Hunakwa fire now 2,000 ha

UPDATE: 11:20 a.m.

BCWS has 14 firefighters and two helicopters working in the area, as well as heavy equipment that continues to build guard.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District says the guard was widened, especially in the area of the 8 Mile point of the 1200 FSR on Saturday. Structural Protection Units remain on scene and have day and night crews set up to help protect the community.

ORIGINAL 6:45 a.m.

The Shuswap Emergency Program reports the Hunakwa Lake wildfire has grown to an estimated 2,000 hectares in size.

The lightning-caused fire continues to burn out of control near Seymour Arm at the north end of Shuswap Lake.

On Saturday, the BC Wildfire Service reported there was growth on the fire overnight, to the north along the ridge, away from the community.

The wildfire service fought the fire with four personnel and two helicopters yesterday.

Multiple pieces of heavy equipment are working on site in addition to 13 structural protection apparatus from local fire departments.

An evacuation order and alert remain in place in the area.

Strong winds and hotter weather a cause for concern on Brenda Creek fire

Brenda Creek: wind concern

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.

The Brenda Creek fire is now listed at an estimated 824 hectares in size, up from 662 hectares yesterday.

It remains out of control.

ORIGINAL 8:28 a.m.

The weather could reverse some of the progress made fighting the Brenda Creek wildfire, burning south of the Okanagan Connector, west of West Kelowna.

The BC Wildfire Service says temperatures will be warmer in the coming days, which could lead to increased fire activity. A forecast high-pressure system has moved to the north, and strong winds may occur. That could challenge guard lines that crews have been working to build.

They are continuing to reinforce guard line sections on the northwest corner of the fire, by burning off fuel between the guard and the fire.

Helicopters are also expected to continue dropping water onto hotspots today and will be dipping into nearby lakes.

The most active part of the fire was near the southwest flank, where fire behaviour continues to threaten the BC Hydro transmission line.

A high volume water delivery system has been set up to protect the line. It can be turned on quickly if the flames get too close.

So far, the transmission line that carries power to West Kelowna, the Westbank First Nation, and Peachland remains operational.

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