KAMLOOPS - Firefighters were able to contain a small area of the wildfire north of Lytton this weekend, but not before a house was consumed by the uncontrolled blaze.
“There are two properties affected,” B.C. Wildfire Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says. “Unfortunately one was a house. It’s devastating. The resident has been notified by RCMP.”
The fire has been mapped now and comes in at 1,389 hectares, just slightly lower than the 1,500 ha it was thought to be over the weekend. Crews were also able to obtain some containment over the weekend and are focusing on establishing more today.
“We currently are saying it’s five per cent contained, but we’re actively working to establish containment,” Klassen says. “There hasn’t been substantial increase in size over the past couple of days, but it’s still not controlled. Evacuations remain in place.”
There are currently 121 people on the ground fighting the fire, along with seven helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment. Crews are focusing on the south flank but are looking to establish 50' wet lines on three sides to make sure any sparks or flying debris do not ignite when they fly over any guards.
The cooler temperatures are a help, Klassen says, but with fire so dependent on weather factors crews are keeping a close eye on the strong winds expected over the next couple of days.
“Fire is largely dependent on weather factors and a lot of times fire grows with wind,” she says. “We do have fire behaviour and weather behaviour experts monitoring (the fire.)”
Crews also responded to four new fires, all spot sized, in the Kamloops Fire Centre over the weekend and three are suspected to be human caused.
“Any kind of human-caused wildfire is unacceptable right now, everyone needs to be vigilant and careful,” Klassen says. “These are punishable offences. It’s not worth it — it’s very hefty fines, and (for) the public safety.”
A third public meeting will be held at the Parish Hall in Lytton on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to provide more information on the Botanie Creek fire.
The Lytton ferry remains open, but to local traffic only.
The Emergency Support Services centre is at the Parish Hall on 140 - 7 Street in Lytton. It is providing help to the people evacuated from their homes. The service centre will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 21 and Tuesday, July 22. The hours of operation will continue to be monitored and if the centre is required beyond Tuesday, further information will be provided.
For more information call 1-250-377-7182.
UNDER EVACUATION ORDER:
All residences along Botanie Creek Road from the junction of Highway 12 and Botanie Creek Road north to Botanie Lake.
All residents must leave the described area immediately and check in at the reception centre at the Parish Hall in Lytton, 140 Parish Road.
Residents are advised to travel north along Botanie Creek Road, Izman Creek Forest Service Road and Laluwessin Forest Service Road to Highway 12 and then south to Lytton. It is also suggested that evacuees turn off the power and propane to their residences.
UNDER EVACUATION ALERT:
All properties east of the Fraser River, along the Highway 12 corridor from Highway 12 and Botanie Creek Road to Highway 12 and Laluwissin Forest Service Road east to the western boundary of the Bootahnie IR #15.
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