Get ready to see smoke in Okanagan from huge controlled burn on White Rock Lake wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Get ready to see smoke in Okanagan from huge controlled burn on White Rock Lake wildfire

Smoke from a large prescribed burn on the White Rock Lake wildfire above the Irish Creek area in the North Okanagan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/OKIB
August 30, 2021 - 10:14 AM

Okanagan residents can expect to see smoke today as the B.C. Wildfire Service conducts a large-scale prescribed burn at the White Rock Lake wildfire.

The planned ignition today, Aug. 30, is slated to cover 3,000 hectares on the northeast areas of the fire perimeter, between Six Mile Creek and Irish Road. In three phases, the burn is expected to help firefighters contain the blaze in areas where the current fire perimeter is unsafe for ground crews, according to the wildfire service.

The White Rock Lake wildfire is currently estimated at 81,362 hectares, and most flanks have seen minimal growth over the last several days and are largely in mop up.

Fire information officer Forrest Tower said the burn will help control the remaining flank of the wildfire that is exhibiting the most fire activity.

"If we can get most of this done... it can secure the entire perimeter," Tower said.

READ MORE: Timelapse captures large plume of smoke coming from planned ignition in North Okanagan

The three phases of work will include a heli-torch, then plastic sphere dispensers. Lastly, ground crews will ignite control lines to bring the fire toward the established perimeter.

If conditions remain ideal, the burn will begin today and residents can expect to see smoke in the early afternoon.

Tower added that if the fire was left to burn on its own in this area, it would be unpredictable and risk moving quickly toward Highway 97.

He said the burn will help firefighters establish the perimeter on their own terms and bring it into the mop-up stage more quickly.


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