3,000 hectare planned ignition in works for White Rock Lake wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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3,000 hectare planned ignition in works for White Rock Lake wildfire

The White Rock Lake wildfire, Aug. 22, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Dee Jack
August 23, 2021 - 12:26 PM

A 3,000 hectare prescribed burn is being planned to burn away forest fuels near the White Rock Lake wildfire.

The wildfire is currently 80,745 hectares and burning out of control west of Vernon.

Fire activity is minimal along the south, west, and northern flanks but suppression efforts continue to be focused on impacted interface areas along the eastern flank where severe drought conditions persist, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The wildfire service is preparing to conduct a large-scale planned ignition operation on the northeast flank of the White Rock Lake wildfire this week, according to a press release issued by the Township of Spallumcheen.

"The exact timing of this ignition will depend on weather and site conditions, but it could begin as early as Wednesday, Aug. 25. Significant planning, forecasting, and data analysis has been completed and will continue to be assessed prior to the ignition operation," the press release reads. The planned ignition will be upwards of 3,000 ha.

Image Credit: City of Armstrong

"Due to steep and inaccessible terrain in this area of the fire, B.C. Wildfire Service personnel have determined that a planned ignition is the most favourable tactic to gain control while also maintaining an appropriate safety margin for firefighters," the township said.

In the last 72 hours, heavy equipment operators have been working to complete a machine guard along Irish Creek Road, north of Okanagan Indian Band IR #1 working north and then west towards Six Mile Creek, to the west of Westside Road.

Crews will use both hand and aerial resources to remove fuels between the wildfire service's control line and advancing wildfire. Ground crews and hose lay will be ready to patrol and monitor for any spotting across the constructed machine guard between Westside Road and Irish Creek.

With the current weather forecast, the wildfire service will be conducting this operation as soon as possible and at this time there is no alternative suppression tactic that will provide an equal or greater likelihood of success given the fuel type, terrain, and sustained drought conditions expected to persist over the coming weeks, according to the township.

The wildfire crosses the boundaries of several local governments. For the latest on evacuation alerts and orders follow these following links:

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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