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UPDATE: Status of both new wildfires in Shuswap downgraded

After crews’ work, Larch Hills fire ‘being held’ while Niskonlith Creek blaze ‘under control’
Two new wildfires were sparked in the Shuswap on Aug. 4, one by Niskonlith Creek near Chase and the other in Larch Hills near Salmon Arm. (BC Wildfire Service map)

Update Aug. 5, 3 p.m.

Wildfire BC reports the status of both the Larch Hills and the Niskonlith Creek wildfires has been downgraded.

As of Friday afternoon, a crew of four and a helicopter were working on the Larch Hills wildfire, which was roughly three kilometres northwest of the Larch Hills nordic ski area.

A single tree caught fire so the crew felled it and, with the aid of a helicopter which supplied water, worked to put it out. It was initially described as 0.01 hectares or ‘spot sized.’

The crew is now focusing on hot spots and BC Wildfire described the new status as “being held.” That means the fire is no longer likely to spread, barring extreme circumstances.

As for the Niskonlith Creek wildfire which was also classified as ‘spot size,’ BC Wildfire said it is now deemed “under control” – a non-active stage that means it has patrol status. If any smoke pops up following the heat of the day, a crew will extinguish any hot spots.

Both wildfires were caused by single trees struck by lightning.

Earlier articles - 8:45 a.m., 11:50 a.m.

A lightning-caused wildfire was sparked southwest of Chase, at the southern tip of Niskonlith Creek. A second fire was discovered in the Larch Hills area near Salmon Arm on Friday, Aug. 5.

The BC Wildfire map shows both fires estimated at 0.01 hectares or ‘spot sized,’ and both ignited on Aug. 4.

The wildfire in Niskonlith Lake Provincial Park appears to be about four kilometres west of the Trans-Canada Highway between Chase and Kamloops.

The cooler temperatures and rainfall earlier in the week have impacted wildfires in the region of the Kamloops Fire Centre surrounding Salmon Arm, Enderby and Vernon, with most having been extinguished.

Environment Canada predicts the high on Aug. 5 in Salmon Arm and Vernon will be 23 C, rising to 27 Saturday and 30 C Sunday.

The forecast shows temperatures hovering in the low 30s from Aug. 8-10 and dropping slightly to 29/30 C on Thursday, Aug. 11.

Read more: New wildfire burning west of Summerland

Read more: Lightning sparks 2 fires above Okanagan Mountain Park
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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