July 21, 2015 - 2:44 PM
FALKLAND - The Bolean Lake wildfire near Falkland continues to burn aggressively, although a change in weather is giving crews a better chance to hold it back.
The wind died down enough on Tuesday, July 21, for air tankers to return to the skies above the 230-hectare fire, B.C. Wildfire information officer Kelsey Winter says. Air support had to stand down due to wind gusts of 50-60 km/hr on Monday.
The fire, located about five kilometres northwest of Falkland, was first reported around 2 p.m. on July 20 and quickly grew to an estimated 300 hectares. With better visibility Tuesday, wildfire crews now say the blaze is actually a bit smaller than originally thought. Now believed to be 230 ha in size, crews do not yet have it contained.
B.C. Wildfire has also learned the blaze consists of two fires — a 60 ha spot fire on top of a plateau, and another fire burning its way up a ridge. The fire is moving upslope, away from the town of Falkland, Winter says.
The fire is burning at a rank two or three, meaning it is a low to moderately vigorous surface fire. Crews are anticipating winds to pick up again later in the day, which could pose a challenge.
Structural protection units were deployed Tuesday afternoon to protect homes in the area. The Bolean Lake Lodge remains is on evacuation order, while 24 properties in the area of Chase-Falkland Road north of Falkland to the Arthur Creek Forest Service Road, and east to Bolean Lake are on evacuation alert. Residents within the evacuation alert area are being told to have a grab and go bag ready in case they are ordered to leave on short notice.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but is believed to be lightning-caused.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015