Salmon Arm  

Large plume rises from within fire perimeter at Bush Creek blaze

Fire activity flares up

UPDATE: 2:09 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service says skimmer aircraft are supporting ground crews as fire activity has flared up northeast of Chase at the Bush Creek East wildfire.

Ground personnel, water tenders and heavy equipment continue working in the area as "a large amount of smoke is visible from surrounding areas," BCWS says.

Fire activity increased this morning within the fire perimeter on the east side of Squilax Mountain.

"In the interest of air crew and public safety, people are urged to keep well away from areas where airtankers or helicopters are operating," the wildfire service says.

ORIGINAL: 12:20 p.m.

A large smoke plume from the Bush Creek East wildfire is very visible today in the Sorrento and Notch Hill areas.

The plume is coming from an area burning within the fire's perimeter and is surrounded by machine fire guard lines and water delivery systems, the Shuswap Emergency Program reassures.

The BC Wildfire Service has 42 personnel working in the area, as well as heavy equipment and water tenders supporting them.

"Smoke plumes and fire activity are expected with the weekend's continued hot and dry conditions," the SEP says.

The wildfire service is closely monitoring for smoke that may come from the fire perimeter.

If you see smoke coming from areas that appear to not be within the fire perimeter, report it to 1-800-663-5555.

Meanwhile, as of Friday, the fire's size has been increased to an estimated area burned of 43,346 hectares, an increase of more than 40 hectares from mid-week.

"Although we are entering the fall season, nearby communities can still expect to see smoke within the perimeter over the coming weeks," the wildfire service says.

"This is common with large wildfires and will continue until significant rainfall or snowfall. If you see smoke coming from well within a fire’s perimeter and the area is surrounded by black, burned material, this is typically not a concern. However, smoke rising from green, unburned fuel or from outside a fire's perimeter should be reported immediately."

A cold front is expected to move through the region Saturday, potentially bringing increased winds and reduced relative humidity. Gusts up to 40 km/h are forecast.

Late Sunday and into Monday, a second cold front will bring sustained winds, followed by cooler temperatures and isolated showers.

Fire behaviour is expected to increase through the weekend – "Deeper burning fuels may increase in fire activity as temperatures and winds increase," BCWS says.

Crews continue to directly attack the fire perimeter in the Adams Lake area to prevent growth, while also pushing into the perimeter and extinguishing hot spots.

North and west of Bruhn Creek Road, and along the northwest side of Tsalkom Mountain crews are extinguishing smokes and securing the perimeter as danger tree assessment and falling continues.

At Agate Bay, crews are working to secure the western-most fire perimeter north of Bush Creek FSR near Fadear Point.

Ground crews continue working within the North Shuswap today, actioning hotspots closest to the urban interface at Meadows Creek/Scotch Creek/Onyx Creek. Structure protection crews have returned to provide overnight monitoring and patrol for hot spots.

Crews are also reinforcing containment lines above the south shore in the Turtle Valley/Sorrento area, where fire activity within the fire perimeter has increased this morning.

A direct attack is being made on the fire perimeter on the northeast side of Squilax Mountain.

A total of 165 wildland firefighters and 35 support staff remain assigned to the fire, with support from 10 helicopters and 26 pieces of heavy equipment.

Seven structure protection crews are supporting in the North Shuswap overnight.

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