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More resources headed to wildfire near Westwold

An aerial view of the White Rock Lake wildfire southwest of Westwold, July 20, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/BC Wildfire Service
July 21, 2021 - 11:30 AM

More firefighters are coming to the White Rock Lake wildfire southwest of Westwold as the blaze grew to over 7,000 hectares.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District expanded an evacuation order to more properties around Westwold at risk of the wildfire, with more in the Monte Lake area now on alert, due to the increased risk of high winds and little precipitation.

The White Rock Lake wildfire was mapped at about 7,400 hectares this morning, July 21, after growing significantly since early this week. It was estimated to be 3,000 hectares as late as yesterday by the B.C. Wildfire Service.

There are 22 heavy equipment units establishing fire guards and one structural protection unit. There are also over 30 personnel from a range of support staff, RCMP and local fire departments.

There is a new 19 person crew of wildfire service firefighters headed to the fire today to assist with work on the ground, and the wildfire service also has two helicopters assigned to deal with hot spots.

There is also a chance that residents in the Westwold, Monte Lake and Falkland areas will see air tankers and skimmers working the fire, but that depends on conditions throughout the day, Mike McCauley, B.C. Wildfire Service fire information officer, said.

With more winds expected throughout the province today, fire activity is expected to increase. This prompted the B.C. government to declare a state of emergency on July 20, appeasing calls of regional governments.

While winds affecting the wildfire this morning are from the northwest, they can often shift through the day, which is why the wildfire service recommended the regional district expand evacuation orders and alerts.

Around 5:45 p.m., July 20, an evacuation order was issued to 32 additional properties around Westwold, followed by an alert issued to 165 properties north of Monte Lake, effective at 6:30 p.m., notifying those residents to prepare for a possible evacuation.

Douglas Lake Road near Westwold remains closed to public traffic due to the wildfire, according to DriveBC.

More information on evacuation measures regarding this wildfire, or any others within the Thompson Nicola Regional District, can be found here.

— This story was corrected at 4:05 p.m., July 21, 2021 to say Douglas Lake Road is closed to the public due to wildfire activity.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 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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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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