RDNO and TNRD orders properties near Westwold to evacuate due to nearby wildfire

Evac orders near Westwold

UPDATE 4:57 p.m.

Due to the potential danger to life and health, and a large number of recreation sites within the proximity of Pinaus Lake and Bouleau Lake, the Regional District of North Okanagan has issued an evacuation alert for the following areas:

  • North and east of, and including Pinaus Lake – running south to include Bouleau Lake.
  • East and south of Bouleau Lake – running west to the Thompson Nicola Regional District evacuation alert and order (South and parallel to Salmon River Fire Service Road)
  • This area could include egress routes from the backcountry within the mapped area.

UPDATE: 4:17 p.m.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued evacuation orders for three properties near Westwold due to the fast-moving White Rock Lake fire burning nearby.

The order was made just after 4 p.m. on Monday. No addresses were listed by the TNRD, only a map.

This story will be updated as more information becomes known.


Fire behaviour increased significantly Sunday at the White Rock Lake wildfire burning between Westwold and Merritt due to elevated temperatures and increased southwest winds.

The fire has grown to an estimated 12,500 hectares and continues to burn out of control.

Aggressive fire behaviour caused growth in the Sawmill Lake and Jimmy Lake areas, and produced a large column of smoke.

Increased fire activity is expected to continue as hot, dry and windy conditions are forecast to persist.

More structural protection units have been requested, and a task force of fire engines will be patrolling and actioning hotspots in an effort to protect properties and high-value assets, the BC Wildfire Service said in a Sunday night update.

Heavy equipment is being used to construct large, cleared areas at regular intervals along the guard lines as "safe zones" for crews to take shelter if fire behaviour should suddenly increase.

Airtankers may be used today to apply retardant, if conditions allow. A ground-based retardant unit is also being used to reinforce guard lines.

Six helicopters were bucketing water on the fire Sunday.

Planning of contingency lines continues.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place.

One hundred firefighters and 12 support staff from Quebec arrived on Sunday and will be staying at the Salmon Lake Resort fire camp. They will begin working on the fire today.

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