UPDATE: Grass fire in east Kamloops now estimated at 380 hectares - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Grass fire in east Kamloops now estimated at 380 hectares

The Shuswap Road fire has grown to 380 hectares today, July 12.
July 13, 2018 - 12:15 AM

KAMLOOPS - The wildfire near Shuswap Road in Kamloops is now estimated at 380 hectares according to B.C. Wildfire.

The fire only started around noon and was 200 hectares as of roughly two hours ago. B.C. Wildfire information officer Marla Catherall says this isn't necessarily due to fire growth, but more accurate mapping of the fire.

B.C. Wildfire says in a tweet crews are battling the growing fire amidst windy conditions, and all available resources are responding. Boaters are asked to stay clear of Paul Lake as water skimming aircraft are using the water. Their crews along with Kamloops Fire Rescue crews will be stationed at the blaze overnight.

Air support continues to work on the fire, with ground crews focused on securing the perimeter near structures, the wildfire service says in a tweet.

There was a tactical evacuation order of approximately half a dozen homes on Shuswap Road east of the Sage Meadows Trailer Park, according to Kamloops Fire Rescue acting chief, Steve Robinson. An emergency reception centre was made available at the Sk'elep School, but Robinson says as of 4:30 p.m., evacuees were allowed to return home.

According to the Sun Rivers Resort community Facebook page, a "wildfire alert" has been issued for residents with properties east of Shuswap Road, including Sun Rivers. This is not the same as an evacuation alert.

"The Big Horn Golf Course will be running perimeter irrigation along the eastern golf holes to lessen any risk of sparks starting a fire in the natural areas," says the Facebook post.

The wind is currently coming out of the south-southeast at 8 km/h, according to Environment Canada but reporters in the field say it appears to be picking up. If crews can’t get a handle on it today, wind could become a very big problem tomorrow. Environment Canada warned earlier today the South Thompson could get winds up to 70 km/h tomorrow night.  

"We are doing our very best, the wind is very hard to predict but hopefully there isn't as much wind as they are predicting," Catherall says, adding that currently, the wind is moving the fire from east to west.

Catherall says this is now considered an interface fire, which doesn't necessarily mean structures are immediately threatened but the fire is in the vicinity and could eventually pose a threat.

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says Shuswap Road was closed today from Lafarge west to the Yellowhead Highway due to the fire. Argo Roads has since confirmed in a tweet that Shuswap Road was reopened.

There are no injuries reported at this time, Shelkie says. 

Ash is starting to fall and the wildfire can be seen from nearly everywhere in Kamloops.
Ash is starting to fall and the wildfire can be seen from nearly everywhere in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Taylor Rae

Emergency crews are on the scene of a grass fire along Shuswap Road in Kamloops, Thursday, July 12, 2018.
Emergency crews are on the scene of a grass fire along Shuswap Road in Kamloops, Thursday, July 12, 2018.

— With files from Karen Edwards.

— This story was updated at 2:47 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from Kamloops Fire Rescue and B.C. Wildfire.

— This story was updated at 3:25 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from Kamloops Fire Rescue.

— This story was updated at 3:49 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from Kamloops Fire Rescue and B.C. Wildfire.

— This story was updated at 4:27 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from Tk'emlups te Secwepemc and B.C. Wildfire.

— This story was updated at 5:27 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from B.C. Wildfire.

— This story was updated at 5:50 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from Kamloops Fire Rescue.

— This story was updated at 6:04 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2018 to include new information from Argo Roads.


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