Two wildfires south of Merritt have merged | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Two wildfires south of Merritt have merged

The Brook Creek wildfire, burning near Brookmere, caused the community's evacuation Aug. 14, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Scott Nelson
August 16, 2021 - 3:00 PM

The July Mountain and Brook Creek wildfires merged today and together now measure an estimated 8,000 hectares.

The July Mountain wildfire was first discovered on July 13 after a suspected lightning strike and had continued to burn adjacent to Highway 5, roughly 45 kilometres south of Merritt. It merged with the Brook Creek wildfire on Aug. 16 after significant north and northeast growth, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The Brook Creek wildfire was last measured about 30 kilometres south of Merritt and it is suspected to have been human-caused.

Before they merged, the Brook Creek wildfire was last estimated at 500 hectares and the July Mountain wildfire was 7,476 hectares.

Fifty-two firefighters are attending the scene south of Merritt as the wildfire burns adjacent to the Coquihalla Highway. There are "multiple" helicopters and heavy equipment units attending the scene on Monday, according to the wildfire service.

At least Thompson Nicola Regional District 130 properties have been ordered to evacuate due to the wildfires, with at least 90 placed on alert, as of Aug. 15.

The Coquihalla Highway remains closed for travel between Hope and Merritt, while Highway 8 from Merritt to Lytton is closed due to the Lytton Creek wildfire. Highway 97C, the Okanagan Connector, is closed westbound south of Ashcroft, from Brolin Road to the Highland Valley Copper mine.

Go here for more evacuation updates from the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

Go here for updates on road conditions and closures from DriveBC.

— This story was updated at 3:33 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 to include a Highway 97C closure.

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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