Firefighters battling wildfire in Logan Lake hindered by those who refuse to leave: fire chief | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Firefighters battling wildfire in Logan Lake hindered by those who refuse to leave: fire chief

The Tremont Creek wildfire within Logan Lake, Aug. 14, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Logan Lake Fire Rescue
August 15, 2021 - 10:46 AM

Firefighters dealing with a wildfire burning within the District of Logan Lake are being challenged by those refusing to leave, says the town’s fire chief.

Logan Lake Fire Rescue Chief Doug Wilson said roughly 12 people have stayed behind despite being under an evacuation order. The RCMP is dealing with them, as the fire department has had issues with a few people and they've impacted structure protection efforts. 

“They’re endangering themselves, their families… they’re in the way. They’re asking for assistance now that the fire’s all around them,” Wilson said.

READ MORE: 'It's still there,' Logan Lake mayor passes along message after wildfire reaches town's borders

An evacuation order was put in place for the District of Logan Lake Aug. 14.

This morning, Logan Lake Fire Rescue is spot checking fires and waiting to see how the winds may change how crews are tackling the fire, Wilson said.

“The fight’s not over, we’ve got a few days of it yet but we’re on the winning side of it for now,” he said.

The district has not lost any structures, he said.

Last night, the Tremont Creek wildfire entered the town’s boundaries. B.C. Wildfire Service information officer Erin Bull said it came within 500 metres of a structure.

“There was significant fire activity yesterday and throughout the evening as well,” she said, adding there was significant air tanker support dropping retardant between the community and the fire’s edge.

Yesterday, wildfire crews completed a controlled ignition on the east side of town, burning away fuels between the fire and the town.

“They’re looking at options to do a similar ignition on the west side of town, winds are very favourable for that now,” Bull said.

 

Overall, last night things went well but crews are expecting strong southwesterly winds today and into the night, blowing the fire northeast in the direction of Logan Lake.

The fire has significantly grown on the east flank of the wildfire towards the Dominic Lake area so evacuation orders are in place, Bull said.

The wildfire is estimated to be 43,773 hectares in size and is classified as out of control.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued evacuation orders and alerts for various areas of Electoral Area 'I' and Electoral Area 'J'. An expanded Evacuation Alert was issued yesterday, August 14, for South of Logan Lake in Electoral Area "I" and Electoral Area "M". For more information, visit the regional district's website.

The Ashcroft Indian Band and the Village of Ashcroft have issued evacuation alerts as a precautionary measure. The Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band remains under an evacuation order.

The B.C. Wildfire Service also stated in its most recent update on the wildfire that choosing to remain in an area that is under an evacuation order puts yourself, your family, and first responders in danger.

"If you've been placed under an evacuation order, that means you are advised to leave the area for your own safety and for the health and safety of firefighters. People who remain in an area that's under an evacuation order may not receive assistance as firefighters and aircraft may not be able to reach you. If you are planning on staying, ensure your home is well prepared and you have a wildfire survival plan in place,” according to the service.

There are  79 wildfire firefighters, 10 helicopters, 37 heavy equipment and 102 structure protection personnel on site today being shared between the Tremont Creek wildfire and the Sparks Lake wildfire.

Logan Lake's emergency operation centre has been evacuated to Kamloops because its power systems have been cut by fires and the district has no internet connections.

The RCMP could not be immediately reached for comment.


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