No significant growth on White Rock Lake wildfire overnight | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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No significant growth on White Rock Lake wildfire overnight

August 09, 2021 - 10:14 AM

The White Rock Lake wildfire burning near Vernon has not seen any significant growth overnight, thanks to the current weather conditions.

“The fire has mostly stalled with no significant growth in size or direction overnight. There continues to be moderate growth in active areas on the north, northeast, and southeast flanks. Yesterday, there was mostly rank one and two fire behaviour observed throughout most of the fire. In some areas on the southeast and north east flank there was more vigorous surface fire with increased rate of spread,” according to the B.C. Wildfire Service’s latest update, Aug. 9.

Rank one and two fire behaviour means smouldering ground fires or a slowly spreading surface fire, according to the service.

The fire is still mapped at 55,700 hectares and is classified as out of control.

Yesterday, Aug. 8, a resident confirmed his home, along with multiple properties had been destroyed in the blaze in the Beau Park Road area off of Westside Road. Homes have also been lost in Monte Lake due to the fire.

READ MORE: ‘Worst-case nightmare’: Multiple homes, structures lost to White Rock Lake wildfire

Today, crews are using heavy equipment on the northwest flank of the fire in the Foley Road area and are directly attacking the fire to limit its spread.

On the north flank, firefighters are working on constructing a fire guard along the west and east perimeter of the fire north above Highway 97. Crews will also work containing the fire along Grange Forest Service Road to Adelphi Road on the eastern side of the northern finger of the fire perimeter to protect the fire from growing towards Pinaus Lake. Firefighters are also working to prevent further spread northeast towards Paxton Valley, according to the service.

Crews along the southern flank of the fire will work to continue containing the fire along Beautiful Road. If on-site conditions are favourable, small-scale ignition operations will support the containment line being built.

On the east flank, crews and structure protection personnel are working in the Westside Road area where the fire is close to properties and are directly attacking the fire using water and hand ignition tools to secure a perimeter.

There are 163 wildland firefighters, 138 structure protection personnel crew members, danger tree fallers,16 helicopters and 53 pieces of heavy equipment on site today.

The helicopter fleet includes a Sikorsky 64 SkyCrane helicopter, which has a 2,650-gallon tank that is fillable in less than one minute. There are also four Kamov heavy helicopters in the fleet. Additional air support is available and will be utilized as required, should conditions allow.

ChaseSpallumcheen, Splatsin and part of the City of Vernon are currently on evacuation alerts. Evacuation alerts and orders are also in effect for the Thompson Nicola Regional District, Columbia Shuswap Regional DistrictRegional District of Central Okanagan and Okanagan Indian Band.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has also issued a precautionary Water Quality Advisory for all customers of three of its community water systems along Westside Road. 

"A power outage stemming from the White Rock Lake wildfire and high water use for fire protection, can affect water quality.  B.C. Hydro restored electrical service to the RDCO areas it serves along Westside Road yesterday afternoon. It had been off since Friday evening," according to the regional district.

The Water Quality Advisory is in place until further notice for the Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Westshore Estates water systems.  A previously issued Water Quality Advisory remains in effect for the Killiney Beach water system.

— This story was updated at 10:36 a.m. Aug. 9, 2021 to provide information on current evacuation alerts, orders and water advisories.

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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