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UPDATE: Wildfire near Monte Lake now 30 per cent contained

The Martin Mountain wildfire near Monte Creek is seen in this submitted photo, Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jennifer Boyle
July 27, 2017 - 12:34 PM

MONTE LAKE - A wildfire east of Kamloops near Monte Lake has grown, but B.C. Wildfire says crews have been able to get some containment on the blaze.

The Martin Mountain fire, about 1.5 kilometres north of Monte Lake, has grown to 150 hectares but is now 30 per cent contained.

B.C. Wildfire information officer Max Birkner says structures are still threatened, but there's no word if any homes have been lost to the blaze.

"It was very aggressive yesterday," Birkner says. "Luckily today it’s actually been around a rank one."

Birkner compares a rank one to a smouldering campfire and says from his point of view of the fire, he can't see any flames today.

He says crews are anticipating wind gusts this afternoon, which has the potential to change the situation.

"We’re getting a little bit more of a gusty wind this afternoon but it hasn’t been a tremendously gusty yet," he says. "So far with this fire, we’ve been really lucky with the wind."

Overnight, 31 firefighters worked on the blaze. Skimmer aircraft from Alberta were called in to help, but Birkner says helicopters have now taken over.

There are 20 firefighters working on the blaze currently, but more are expected this afternoon.

According to the B.C. Wildfire website, the blaze is suspected to be human-caused.

A number of properties are under evacuation order or alert in the Monte Lake area.

Highway 97 at Monte Lake, which had been closed since yesterday, reopened to single lane alternating this morning, July 27, according to Drive B.C.

For immediate updates and a full list of properties affected, go here or follow @TNRD on Twitter.

For a list of road closures and available detours, go here or follow @DriveBC on Twitter.

For updates on fire activity and an interactive wildfire map, go here or follow @BCGovFireInfo on Twitter.

— This story was updated at 11:28 a.m. Thursday, July 27, 2017 to say Highway 97 had reopened.

— This story was updated at 12:24 p.m. Thursday, July 27, 2017 to include updated information from B.C. Wildfire Service.


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