‘Significant growth’ on wildfire near Ashcroft due to high winds: B.C. Wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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‘Significant growth’ on wildfire near Ashcroft due to high winds: B.C. Wildfire

The Tremont Creek wildfire, July 22, 2021.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire Service
July 22, 2021 - 11:36 AM

A wildfire burning southeast of Ashcroft has grown significantly due to high winds and is threatening a Canadian Pacific rail yard.

The Tremont Creek wildfire roughly 8.5 kilometres away from the Village of Ashcroft is currently mapped at 10,916 hectares.

The B.C. Wildfire Service doesn’t yet have an estimate on the size of the fire but said there has been ‘“significant growth” on the fire due to afternoon winds yesterday.

 

An update on the fire’s size will be provided once smoke decreases and visibility improves.

“Wildfire activity continues to be expected to increase in the afternoons in some sections of the fire as hot and dry conditions persist, as well as strong afternoon winds. A wind advisory warning is in effect for this complex,” the wildfire service said.

The wildfire service has reported in the last few days winds have hampered firefighting efforts as “wildfire have had to pull back multiple times over the last few days for safety purposes.”

Earlier this week, the northwest side of the fire burned down to a CP rail line but it was not compromised.

Last night, the Ashcroft Fire Department worked in the area to wet down tie yard piles in a CP rail yard. Structure protection was also placed around the rail yard where the fire is anticipated to move towards. CP Rail has brought in a hazmat and emergency response officer to assess and secure the rail yard.

Yesterday, crews and structure protection personnel successfully conducted small scale planned ignitions and burned fuel between the Studhorse Road area and along Barnes Lake Road to Barnes Lake to prevent spot fires caused by the afternoon winds, the wildfire service said.

Structure protection crews are conducting 24-hour patrols in the Walhachin area and has installed structure protection apparatus throughout the town and on the bridge. Structure protection apparatus also remains active on the Barnes Lake Road. Sprinkler activation has been very successful at keeping the fire out of community areas, according to the wildfire service.

On the west of Walhachin, crews worked alongside local ranchers to reinforce a guard line that was put in.

Today, July 22, heavy machinery will work reinforce a guard on the east flank of the fire throughout the day and personnel will also be assessing the Guichon Forest Service Road for new guard lines, and to start moving equipment to that area.

There are 42 firefighters, three helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment are assigned to the fire today. They are supported by 24 additional staff, including a wildfire service incident management team.

Evacuation alerts are in effect for the Ashcroft Indian Band and the Village of Ashcroft. Evacuation orders are in effect for the Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued evacuation orders and alerts for properties in Electoral Area "I" Blue Sky Country. They have also issued an Evacuation Alert for properties in Electoral Area "J" Copper Desert Country.

For more information on evacuation alerts and orders, visit the regional district's website here.


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