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UPDATE: Crews continue to work Bush Creek East blaze, reinforcements on the way

BC Wildfire Service, CSRD still waiting for structure loss assessment
BC Wildfire Service wildland firefighters work the Bush Creek East wildfire in the Shuswap. (BCWS image)

Update: 3 p.m.

In an update provided by BC Wildfire Service and the CSRD, BCWS information officer Forrest Tower confirmed the Bush Creek East wildfire is still being responded to in a number of areas.

Tower said 139 wild land firefighters, along with structural protection crews and equipment, continue to attack the blaze. Numbers will be dynamic over the next day or two as many crews are being replaced with fresh firefighters, including a contingent of 100 Mexican firefighters arriving by tomorrow, Aug. 25.

Tower and his incident management team are also being cycled off and replaced with a new team, which the CSRD will introduce tomorrow at the scheduled 2 p.m. briefing.

The wildfire is continuing to show somewhat decreased behaviour, said Tower, but still warned of upcoming increased temperatures and winds.

In Celista and Magna Bay, crews are trying to finish heavy equipment lines and helicopters continue to survey the entire area. Crews are consistently working in Turtle Valley, Loakin Bear Creek and Little Shuswap areas, where a guard has been completed along Highway 1 from Little Shuswap Lake around the western side and into Turtle Valley.

Sorrento, an area many questions were asked about on social media according to the CSRD, was “an area impacted by circumstances last night,” said Tower, but crews are looking to be back finishing a line in the area today.

A conversation with the CSRD’s representative for Canada Task Force 1, doing rapid damage assessments, hasn’t yielded structure loss estimates yet, said the CSRD’s emergency operations director Derek Sutherland.

Tower ended his last briefing with the CSRD stating all updates are done in real time and the only delay is the time it takes for humans to complete each task at every level, so perimeter changes are almost immediately communicated.

He also reiterated the hard work BCWS firefighters do.

“I know everyone is working towards the same goal in this: put out the Bush Creek East wildfire, full stop,” he said.

Original story:

The Bush Creek East wildfire in the Shuswap continues to burn and because of smoke in the area, BC Wildfire Services hasn’t been able to upgrade the size of the blaze since Monday (Aug. 20).

Going into Thursday, all evacuation orders and alerts remain in place, according to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD). There are more than 4,600 properties were on evacuation order and 864 were on alert. The evacuation map can be found on the CSRD website.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) confirmed on Wednesday that 11 structures have been lost so far because of the 41,041-hectare and growing blaze. BC Wildfire Services information officer Forrest Tower also said the size of the fire could be larger as they haven’t been able to update the size in the last three days.

Transport Canada and the BC Wildfire Service prohibit the use of drones of any size near a wildfire. The operation of any aircraft not associated with fire suppression activities within a radius of five nautical miles around a fire, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), is illegal. Anyone found interfering with wildfire control efforts may face penalties of up to $100,000 and or up to one year in jail.

Black Press Media will keep updated throughout the day.

READ MORE: North Shuswap on edge after alleged incident on Highway 1 amid wildfire


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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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