Firefighters see winds gusting to 60 km/hr on eastern side of White Rock Lake wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Firefighters see winds gusting to 60 km/hr on eastern side of White Rock Lake wildfire

The White Rock Lake wildfire, Aug. 22, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Dee Jack
August 22, 2021 - 3:30 PM

B.C. Wildfire Service crews are dealing with winds gusting up to 60 km/hr this afternoon as they continue to battle the White Rock Lake wildfire burning in the North and Central Okanagan.

Wildfire information officer Shannon Street gave an update on the fire as part of a public online information session hosted by the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

On the fire’s north east flank there has been increased fire behaviour today with 60 km/hr winds, she said. The wildfire is currently 80,745 hectares in size.

READ MORE: Here's what a hectare really looks like

“Operations has flagged this as a priority area for today and so we do have helicopters bucketing wherever possible,” Street said. A guard has been established in the east toward the north in the Irish Creek area and fire crews will continue working westwards to establish a guard in that direction in the next 48 hours.

“We do have quite a few fighters working in that area and the operations staff is quite aware that the fire behaviour has picked up quite a lot throughout the day today and we’re expecting winds to increase throughout the night,” she said, with windy conditions expected tomorrow as well.

Along the west side of Okanagan Lake, crews are continuing to defend structures and will move equipment around as necessary. The wildfire has not grown in that area but as it dries out, they expect to see more wildfire activity on the west side, she said.

The service has not seen much growth on the south or west flank of the fire in the last week but there are aerial resources monitoring those parts of the fire. Firefighters are performing mop up tasks on the west flank.

Along the fire’s northern flank, there are roughly 100 firefighters patrolling and mopping up parts of that fire for the last several days.

Marg Drysdale, fire information officer for Sparks Lake Complex, which includes Tremont Creek west of Kamloops and Sparks Lake north of Kamloops Lake, also gave an update on the two fires.

Both fires saw four millimetres of rain and even saw snow in higher elevations, she said. The weather station on the northern portion of the Sparks Lake fire saw 15 mm of rain.

There is low fire behaviour because of precipitation and firefighters will be able to attack the wildfires directly to establish lines along the wildfires' perimeter, she said.

Logan Lake residents have been reporting small fires in the area online but Drysdale It’s not unusual to have flare ups along the fire’s perimeter so that’s likely what Logan Lake residents are seeing. She has no reports of other fires in the area.

The Tremont Creek wildfire is currently 62,523 ha in size and Sparks Lake is 93,533 ha. Both are classified as out of control.

Temperatures are expected to rise again on Tuesday and will likely see increased fire behaviour once the weather warms up, she said.

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