July 22, 2015 - 10:22 AM
FALKLAND - After seeing no growth Tuesday night, the Bolean Lake wildfire near Falkland expanded in size Wednesday.
B.C. Wildfire estimates the blaze, located five kilometers northwest of Falkland, is now 348 hectares as of 2:18 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22. The fire was a reported 250 hectares earlier in the day and showing a slowdown in behaviour.
Winter noted it was 'great news' the fire didn't grow in size overnight Tuesday, but said the battle is not over. A small amount of rain fell on the suspected lightning-caused fire Tuesday, but wasn’t enough to make a difference, Winter said.
The Bolean Lake Lodge was not immediately threatened as of Wednesday morning, but remains on evacuation order. A further 24 properties remain under evacuation alert covering the area of Chase-Falkland Road north of Falkland to the Arthur Creek Forest Service Road, and east to Bolean Lake.
A release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District states there was very little downhill movement of the fire overnight near Chase-Falkland Road. Hand lines and guards along an old mine road are holding, the regional district said, and the Shuswap Emergency Program Structural Protection Strike Team is assessing homes along Chase-Falkland Road and structures at the Bolean Lake Lodge. The team has not yet deployed the sprinkler protection unit.
A total of 41 firefighters, four dozers and two water tender units are battling the fire today with a goal to establish more containment lines, the regional district stated. It added aerial equipment including helicopters and tankers are available and may be deployed if needed, and that cooler temperatures, calmer winds and higher relative humidity are benefiting the firefighting efforts.
Firefighters were deployed to a much smaller fire in the Vernon area Tuesday evening in the Silver Star area. The fire was one hectare in size and considered a rank two type of blaze, meaning there was open flame, but little to no spread. Emergency crews took no chances with the fire, located on Tillicum Road, and immediately deployed air tankers to the scene. B.C. Wildfire crews alongside the BX Swan Lake Fire Department worked quickly to snuff out the blaze, while airtankers blanketed it in fire retardant. The fire was doused by Tuesday night, but the fire department remained on scene overnight to ensure there were no persisting hot spots or flare ups.
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— This story was updated at 2:49 p.m. July 22, 2015, to say the fire grew to a reported 348 hectares in size, and again at 3:30 p.m. to include an update from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
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