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UPDATE: Kamloops interface fires now under control

Firefighters on Valleyview Drive, July 2, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Lorie Cook
July 03, 2021 - 7:44 AM

A Kamloops fire threatening homes in the Valleyview and Juniper Ridge neighbourhoods is now classified as being under control.

 “We are very happy with what we are seeing right now,” said Kamloops Fire Rescue chief Steve Robinson.

Patrols remained overnight as yesterday afternoon, July 2, the fires near these neighbourhoods started to flare up. The most heavily-fuelled areas have been mitigated, and the perimeter and corners have been tightened, according to a press release issued by the city. The fires were caused by numerous lightning strikes in the Kamloops area Thursday night.

The conditions remained stable throughout the night but the public can expect to see ground and air operations continue Saturday in an effort to extinguish hot spots.

The B.C. Wildfire Service had multiple air assets dropping water buckets and fire retardant in the area, and there was a combined ground effort from KFR, contract crews and auxiliary fire fighters.

B.C. Wildfire information officer Shaelee Stearns said the service has two helicopters and 21 personnel assisting the Kamloops fire department.

Several small wildfires have also sparked due to lighting across the Thompson River. A wildfire northeast of Kamloops, South of Paul Creek is 0.01 hectares in size and was discovered July 1.

One South of Cold Creek is 0.01 hectares and one Southwest of Scheidam Lake is 0.25 hectares. They were also caused by lightning and discovered July 2.

The Emergency Operations Centre is active 24-hours per day. The city continues a unified command with Kamloops Fire Rescue, RCMP, B.C. Ambulance, and the B.C. Wildfire Service, according to the city's news release.

The city requested additional resources from the province, should they be needed, which arrived Saturday morning, July 3, including: three Structural Protection Units, which are trailers equipped with various equipment such as pumps, water bladders, hoses, and sprinklers, that can be deployed around structures as needed for extra protection. 

The SPUs also come with personnel to deploy the equipment, which would allow Kamloops Fire Rescue crews to remain focused on their established fire ground efforts.

Five other municipalities’ fire engines also arrived this morning to supplement the fire department, should it require more assistance in the coming days. Residents may see these engines driving around getting familiarized with the city, according to a city press release.

The city is reminding residents and businesses to immediately cease all irrigation to protect water supply for the fire crews.

For updates on this incident, watch the emergency alerts posted on city's website or call 250-828-3461.

- This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. to update the status of the fires.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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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