Perspective: Smoke from the fire near Falkland billows above the Fly Hills on Monday

Wind whips up Falkland fire

Crews try to protect Bolean Lake Lodge by setting up sprinkler/pump unit there.

The owner of a Falkland area resort is trying to remain optimistic despite a raging wildfire.

Sandra Martens and four guests were forced to evacuate from the Bolean Lake Lodge as a lightning-caused fire gained strength Monday night.

“I saw the cutblock at the end of my lake go poof,” said Martens, who is now staying at a Falkland motel.

“The wind was just unbelievable.”

Martens isn’t sure when she may return home or what may remain when she gets there.

“I hope it’s not ash,” she said.

Beyond the evacuation order, there was an alert for 24 properties on the Chase-Falkland Road Tuesday afternoon. It covered north of Falkland to the Arthur Creek Forest Service Road and east to Bolean Lake.

Residents were advised to leave at a moment’s notice if the fire pattern escalates.

“It’s all weather dependent,” said Ryan Nitchie, emergency operations centre information officer with the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District.

“If the winds flare up, it could create a situation.”

As of Tuesday, the 230-hectare blaze was five kilometres northwest of Falkland and was not contained.

With future fire activity uncertain, some advance preparations are being taken in Falkland, including  firefighters readying for the possibility of structural protection.

Twenty-three firefighters have been on the ground and helicopters have been bucketing water.

A request was put in for tankers to join the fight.

“The winds are definitely a concern and it’s spotting, which challenges fire suppression,” said Kelsey Winter, a fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service’s Kamloops Fire Centre.

The northeast flank is burning slash and juvenile forest.

CSRD was setting up a sprinkler/pump unit at the Bolean Lake Lodge Tuesday.

“It can sprinkle the structure and protect it,” said Nitchie.

Updates on the fire can be found at www.sepadvisory.ca.

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