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Devastating Shuswap wildfire now 'held' says wildfire service

Bush Creek blaze now held

One of the largest and most destructive wildfires in the Southern Interior this summer is now considered held.

The BC Wildfire Service updated the Bush Creek East wildfire's status Monday afternoon, meaning that it is no longer likely to spread beyond predetermined boundaries under current conditions.

It is, however, still considered a wildfire of note, meaning it is highly visible or still poses a potential threat.

Since it was sparked by lightning on July 12, the fire has burned 45,613 hectares.

The blaze began as two separate fires on either side of Adams Lake. It would grow to merge and aggressively burn across the North Shuswap, as well as south, crossing the Trans-Canada Highway, into the Sorrento and Turtle Valley areas.

North Shuswap communities were particularly hard hit.

In total, structure losses to the conflagration summed 270.

Recent rains and cooler fall temperatures have aided work on the fire, with more showers expected this evening.

Sporadic light showers are forecast to continue this week.

Meanwhile, "fire response continues to be focused on extinguishing hot spots along the perimeter and near the urban interface," the wildfire service says.

"Crews are removing fire suppression gear from areas where it is no longer needed," and "a specialized rap-attack crew is working near the transmission line."

Ground crews are working near the north end of Celista, where the fire is burning in a peat bog, and are mopping up and patrolling for hot spots south of Agate Bay.

Patrolling and monitoring continues in the Turtle Valley/Sorrento area.

Although fall has arrived, nearby communities can still expect to see smoke within the perimeter, well into fall, the wildfire service said previously.

The area surrounding the fire remains an active worksite.

There are 156 wildland firefighters and 27 support staff assigned to the fire. They are supported by four helicopters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment.

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