KAMLOOPS - Power is back on to the 45 properties affected by the Botanie Creek fire north of Lytton while more than 170 firefighters remain on the scene fighting the wildfire that is still 75 per cent uncontrolled today.
B.C. Wildfire Fire Information Officer Melissa Klassen says the fire, which was discovered last Tuesday, remains mapped at 1,389 hectares and is now 25 per cent contained, up from just 15 per cent Tuesday morning and five per cent on Monday.
“We’re continuing to see containment, which is amazing,” Klassen says. “However there is still 75 per cent of it that is uncontrolled.”
She adds crews were able to establish a 100-foot wet line along the east and south flanks of the fire and airtankers were able to douse the fire on the steep west flank to help prevent any spreading in that direction. A night crew patrolled Alkali and Botanie roads to keep an eye out for hotspots as well.
“A fire camp has been set up as of yesterday and the incident command team has assumed control,” Klassen says. “We have extensive resources on it again today — 173 firefighters, three helicopters, 12 pieces of heavy equipment.”
B.C. Hydro was able to restore power to the 45 properties in the area Tuesday evening and though the evacuation status has not changed, there are still about 120 people under evacuation order, though Klassen says things are looking good.
“We are anticipating rain. We’re expecting to see rain throughout the region, which is good,” she says. “Hopefully just a little bit will help.”
She says even with the rain in the forecast the fire danger rating is still in the moderate to high range, which is ‘substantial’, and starting Friday we can expect to see a hot, dry trend starting to build again.
The system moving through is also expected to bring lightning, which could result in more fires starting up over the next few days.
“Fire season is definitely not over,” she says. “The ground is pretty dry so it will be a wait and see if lightning activity results in any new fires and whether the precipitation (we’re expecting) makes any large impact.”
The Thompson Nicola Regional District has hosted three public information sessions in Lytton and another is planned for Thursday, July 24 at 2 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Parish Hall, where the Emergency Support Services centre is set up.
The Lytton ferry remains open to local traffic only.
Structures on two properties, including a house, were destroyed by the blaze over the weekend.
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