PHOTOS: White Rock Lake wildfire B.C.’s top priority

A boat cruises Okanagan Lake while a helicopter buckets the White Rock Lake wildfire burning on the Westside Aug. 11. (Darren Wolf photo)A boat cruises Okanagan Lake while a helicopter buckets the White Rock Lake wildfire burning on the Westside Aug. 11. (Darren Wolf photo)
Smoke billows over Vernon from the White Rock Lake wildfire Aug. 6. (Ryan C photo)Smoke billows over Vernon from the White Rock Lake wildfire Aug. 6. (Ryan C photo)
The White Rock Lake fire burns on the Westside Aug. 10. (Darren Wolf photo)The White Rock Lake fire burns on the Westside Aug. 10. (Darren Wolf photo)
The White Rock Lake fire burns on the Westside Aug. 10. (Darren Wolf photo)The White Rock Lake fire burns on the Westside Aug. 10. (Darren Wolf photo)
A helicopter buckets water over the White Rock Lake wildfire near Westside on Aug. 10. (Darren Wolf photo)A helicopter buckets water over the White Rock Lake wildfire near Westside on Aug. 10. (Darren Wolf photo)
A lone boat sits on Okanagan Lake as clouds of smoke fill the air over Westside from the White Rock Lake wildfire Aug.11. (Darren Wolf photo)A lone boat sits on Okanagan Lake as clouds of smoke fill the air over Westside from the White Rock Lake wildfire Aug.11. (Darren Wolf photo)
A paddleboarder braves the waves and smoke on Okanagan Lake Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Darren Wolf photo)A paddleboarder braves the waves and smoke on Okanagan Lake Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Darren Wolf photo)
The White Rock Lake fire burns on the Westside Aug. 10. (Colleen Milne photo)The White Rock Lake fire burns on the Westside Aug. 10. (Colleen Milne photo)
A helicopter buckets water over the White Rock Lake wildfire near Westside on Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Colleen Milne photo)A helicopter buckets water over the White Rock Lake wildfire near Westside on Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Colleen Milne photo)
Smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire billows over Vernon Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Jenna Sealey photo)Smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire billows over Vernon Wednesday, Aug. 11. (Jenna Sealey photo)
The White Rock Lake fire as seen from Carr’s Landing in Lake Country Aug. 11, 7 p.m. (Sheryl Sanjenko photo)The White Rock Lake fire as seen from Carr’s Landing in Lake Country Aug. 11, 7 p.m. (Sheryl Sanjenko photo)
The White Rock Lake fire as seen from the Sparkling Hill lookout in Vernon Aug. 11, 7 p.m. (Dave Lastik photo)The White Rock Lake fire as seen from the Sparkling Hill lookout in Vernon Aug. 11, 7 p.m. (Dave Lastik photo)

The catastrophic White Rock Lake wildfire has become a prime focus for firefighters and residents throughout B.C.

The BC Wildfire Service says the 58,000 hectare blaze is the top priority in the province.

At the Falkland Community Fire Information meeting Wednesday evening, Incident Commander Mark Healey noted the extreme drought conditions, calling this year’s fire situation a catastrophic event.

He also noted citizens on evacuation alert need to be vigilant and prepared, as the size and scope of this fire means the situation could change rapidly.

Structure protection personnel are prepared to defend areas such as Westwold, Falkland, Cedar Hills, and Pinaus Lake.

Increased smoke will be visible in the northern area of the fire Thursday afternoon as crews are conducting planned ignitions to bring the fire to established control lines.

“Helicopters will be utilized to support ground crews with these planned ignitions as required,” the BCWS said.

Meanwhile most of residents on the Westside have been evacuated from the area and further alerts have been issued in the area.

READ MORE: Evacuation orders re-issued for Westside residents due to White Rock wildfire

READ MORE: Catastrophic White Rock Lake wildfire will grow: incident command


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