The Central Okanagan Regional District has issued its first evacuation alerts related to the White Rock Lake wildfire.
The alert impacts a handful of properties directly north of Sugarloaf Mountain. A full list of impacted addresses is here.
“Area residents are advised to be prepared to leave their homes at all times. They should be prepared to be away from home for an extended period, make arrangements for pets and take essential items such as medicines and important documents, ”CORD said.
The alerts are in addition to existing alerts and orders already in place for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, the North Okanagan Regional District, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Okanagan Indian Band.
Details of these previous evacuation notices can be found here.
UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.
The massive White Rock Lake wildfire between Westwold and Merritt is now listed as having burned approximately 20,891 hectares as the threat of lightning looms.
In an update at noon on Friday, the BC Wildfire Service said conditions were extremely smoky, hampering the ability of planes to fly and jeopardizing suppression efforts.
Considering the amount of fuel and the forecast weather conditions, the fire behavior is expected to continue. An increase in fires is forecast in the east and northeast. To protect the safety of the public and first responders, the BC Wildfire Service will continue to assess the need for an additional evacuation order and alert recommendations, ”the update said.
The subtropical humidity moving through the area can bring thunderstorms, strong winds and dry lightning, advises the wildfire department.
On the northwest flank of the blaze, teams will patrol a machine guard that has been built next to the power line.
Progress is underway in the construction of a machine guard to connect to the Monte-Pratt road. The crews will support the construction of this guardrail with the laying of pipes and a supply of water.
On the southwest flank, the teams will continue to work east to secure the perimeter. Cleanup around the Cress Creek area on the southern flank of the fire will continue over the weekend.
If conditions remain favorable, further planned ignitions will occur along the southeast flank to bring the fire completely to the Salmon River Forest Service Road.
Northeast of the fire perimeter, crews work along a stretch of machine protection to contain any fire that descends along the ridge line. Crews will use low-intensity manual ignitions to remove any remaining fuels.
Structural Protection staff will continue to assess and prioritize critical infrastructure and properties, working from Monte Lake to the Falkland Corridor via Highway 97.
The White Rock Lake forest fire starting Thursday
ORIGINAL : 4 h 00
After days of heavy smoke that kept them from doing so, the BC Wildfire Service appears to have gotten a lead on the massive White Rock Lake wildfire burning between Kamloops and Vernon.
A new perimeter map released Thursday night places the forest fire at just over 20,000 hectares, which the fire had previously been estimated to be.
The northernmost front of the fire is within three miles of Highway 97 in the Douglas Lake Road area.
In recent days, crews have used controlled burns to move the fire perimeter closer to the Salmon River Forest Service Road, where crews can work. If conditions remain favorable over the next few days, additional planned ignitions will occur.
Fire officials said they expected the fire to continue to grow east and northeast.
Crews are also bracing for the possibility of subtropical humidity that could bring dry light to the region.
There are 117 firefighters, including 100 from Quebec, eight helicopters, 10 dangerous tree cutters, 38 pieces of heavy equipment and 23 support staff assigned to the fire.
Several alerts and evacuation orders remain in place in the region from three regional districts and the Okanagan Indian Band.