Wildfire near Sun Peaks grows to more than 600 hectares | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wildfire near Sun Peaks grows to more than 600 hectares

Lauren Birchard's view of the Embleton Mountain wildfire from her living room window in Sun Peaks, Tuesday, July 7, 2021.
Image Credit: Lauren Birchard
July 17, 2021 - 11:29 AM

A wildfire burning near the community of Sun Peaks is now more than 600 hectares in size.

The Embleton Mountain wildfire is located roughly seven kilometres west of the community and has reached 604 ha as of Saturday, July 17.

B.C. Wildfire Service information officer Shannon Street said crews saw a bit of growth yesterday in the southern part of the fire but they're making good progress on the southern perimeter.

“As of right now the fire hasn’t challenged any of those guards,” she said.

At this time, the wildfire is not threatening any structures and structure protection specialists are on scene, being supported by the Barriere Fire Department, Sun Peaks Fire Rescue and Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department.

The fire is not burning in one specific direction, it’s slowly creeping around the perimeter, towards fire guards that the B.C. Wildfire Service has put in place, Street said.

B.C. Hydro has completed a tree danger assessment along the upper east flank of the fire and will be on site today with a utility arborist to complete danger tree falling. Once complete, crews will set up a water delivery system and work to complete a 100-foot blackline along this flank of the fire, according to the wildfire service.

The fire is burning in difficult and steep terrain and unstable slopes and rockslides pose safety risks.

"In areas where heavy equipment is unable to operate, crews are working to complete fuel free guards to support containment efforts. Today, crews are working to complete a fuel free guard on the west flank that ties into the machine guard to the south.

"The machine guard in the northeast, south of the McClure switchbacks, has been completed and crews are continuing to establish hose lay along this containment line. Helicopter support will continue to be utilized to bucket hot spots in problematic areas," according to the wildfire service.

There are 27 firefighters on site with three helicopters as well as multiple pieces of heavy equipment.

Evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect for Sun Peaks and in the Thompson Nicola Regional District. For more information on orders and alerts, visit the municipality’s website and the regional district website.

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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