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Crews continue to battle Murray Lake fire

Crews continue to work at containing a fire just west of the Coquihalla Highway and south of Merritt.
Image Credit: Contributed
July 21, 2014 - 12:35 PM

KAMLOOPS - Crews continue to establish a guard around the perimeter of a 340 hectare fire just west of the Coquihalla Highway today, a week after the fire was first discovered.

In total 70 crew members are on site south of Merritt, along with nine pieces of heavy equipment and five helicopters working to establish a guard around the perimeter while also supporting retardant lines already put down.

“Then we will go in and reinforce with a larger guard (with the help of heavy machinery) to establish a fuel break,” B.C. Wildfire Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says. “They’re also work to cool down any hot spots along the perimeter.”

The fire, now mapped at 340 ha, is currently 30 per cent contained but crews are hoping to make more progress today.

“We’re still working on establishing containment,” Klassen says, saying the evacuation order is still in place. “We have 30 per cent right now and hopefully by the end of the day it will be increased.”

The evacuation order covers all properties adjacent to Murray Lake (about 35) and the district has ordered everyone to evacuate the following areas immediately:
- From the southeast boundary, the intersection of Maka-Murray Forest Service Road and the Coquihalla Highway.
- Travelling approximately 4 km northeast along the Coquihalla Highway.
- North to the northeast corner of Section 12, Township 10, Range 23, West of the 6 Meridian.
- West to the northwest corner of Section 12, Township 10, Range 23, West of the 6 Meridian.
- The southwest corner of Section 23, Township 9, Range 23, West of the 6 Meridian.

Permanent residents in the described area are asked to contact Jason Tomlin at 250-819-4105, jtomlin@tnrd.ca.

At no point has the Coquihalla Highway been closed because of the fire.

Crews also attended four new fires, all spot sized, over the weekend, in addition to the fires in West Kelowna, north of Lytton, Apex Mountain, Boot Hill and Jura Mountain that crews have already been fighting for several days.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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