An aerial view of Monday afternoon’s White Rock Lake wildfire behaviour in the Jimmy Lake area July 26, 2021. (BC Wildfire Services)

An aerial view of Monday afternoon’s White Rock Lake wildfire behaviour in the Jimmy Lake area July 26, 2021. (BC Wildfire Services)

UPDATE: Westwold wildfire grows to 17,900 hectares; more evacuation orders, alerts issued

OKIB, Falkland on evac alert; TNRD area alert touches Kamloops city limits

UPDATE: 2:58 p.m.

Residents around the Salmon River Forest Service Road in the Thompson Nicola Regional District have been upgraded and must evacuate.

An alert is also in effect for residents south of that to approximately the Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road, nearing the Central Okanagan Regional District boundary.

The City of Kamloops stepped in to clarify that while the latest alert extends to the southeast city limit near Barnhartvale, the White Rock Lake wildfire is not a threat to Kamloops.

UPDATE: 2:11 p.m.

Recreation sites and 20 properties, including seasonal dwellings are under evacuation around Pinaus Lake running south to Bouleau Lake are now under evacuation as the White Rock Lake fire grows to 17,900 hectares.

Multiple recreation sites are in the proximity of Pinaus and Bouleau Lakes.

The affected area is within the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Electoral Area B.

Because of the immediate danger to life safety, the Evacuation Order includes the following areas:

North and east of, and including Pinaus Lake, running south to include Bouleau Lake, east and south of Bouleau Lake and then west to the Thompson Nicola Regional District areas of evacuation alert and order (south of and parallel to Salmon River Forest Service Road).

This order follows the issuing of orders and alerts in neighbouring areas.

RCMP and other agencies are expediting the evacuation. Evacuees will not have access to their homes while the order is in place so bring important items and pets with you.

The White Rock Lake wildfire spans multiple local governments, regional districts and the OKIB.

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UPDATE: 1:00 p.m.

An evacuation alert is now in effect for Falkland, Sweetsbridge and residents between Irish Creek to the South Reserve Boundary on Okanagan Indian Band land.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has extended its alert area to include the southwest corner of CSRD Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland and Sweetsbridge, and all properties along Chase-Falkland Road to Joyce Lake.

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Homes in the Will Lake and west end of Pinaus Lake area have been upgraded to an evacuation order and are to leave the area immediately. Affected addresses include 6439, 6445, 6453, 6491, 6493, 6495, 6497, 6567, 6575, and 6633 Pinaus Lake Forest Service Road

An alert, issued by the Regional District of North Okanagan and the Okanagan Indian Band currently doesn’t include Head of the Lake or the Eastern side of IR#1, but this is subject to change.

“Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation; however, you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.”

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District also evacuated 11 more properties to the east of the existing evacuation alert around 1:30 p.m.

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Original:

Aggressive fire behaviour caused the out-of-control White Rock Lake wildfire near Westwold to grow past Jimmy Lake, producing large columns of smoke, Monday afternoon (July 26).

BC Wildfire Services says increased activity is expected to continue in the coming days as the forecast calls for hot, dry and windy conditions with no precipitation anticipated.

“These conditions will continue to challenge fire suppression efforts and cause additional growth on this fire,” BCWS said in a Tuesday morning update.

But more help is on the way.

Vancouver Island-based fire departments from Mill Bay, Courtenay and Oyster Bay said Tuesday their service has been requested for structure protection in the Westwold area.

“Engine 75 along with Deputy Stephen Melanson, Lt. Arnie Sanford, firefighter Bo Lott and Evan Kwasny departed this morning on the 6 a.m. ferry to start the long drive and potentially up to 14 days of hard work away from home and family,” Mill Bay Fire Rescue wrote in a Facebook post.

Monday night saw the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Regional District of North Okanagan put evacuation alerts in effect for Will Lake, Pinaus Lake and Bouleau Lake.

Another three property parcels in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District were put under evacuation order.

BCWS is still estimating the fire around 12,500 hectares and said airtankers may be used if conditions allow.

Six helicopters were bucketing water on hotspots yesterday to cool and slow the spread of fire allowing firefighters to work.

One hundred and 12 firefighters and support staff from Quebec worked the western flank yesterday on their first day battling the blaze. They’re set up at a camp established at Salmon Lake Resort.

The provincial agency said Tuesday will see 127 firefighters, 55 support staff supported by seven helicopters and 38 pieces of heavy equipment action the fire.

One structural protection specialist plus a five-staff unit, two trailers and six firefighters from two fire departments are also on scene to protect critical infrastructure. More have been requested, BCWS said, which would include a task force of fire engines patrolling and actioning hotspots.

READ MORE: Increased fire activity leads to new evacuation alerts for White Rock Lake wildfire

READ MORE: Monashee wildfires see massive growth in North Okanagan


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B.C. Wildfires 2021

 

Expanded evacuation orders and alerts have been put in place in the North Okanagan due to the White Rock Creek fire. (RDNO map)