Update: 6:10 p.m.
An evacuation alert has been issued for the community of Anglemont and Electoral Area F in the Shuswap.
The alert is due to the Bush Creek East wildfire, which is an estimated 43,111 hectares.
The wildfire, burning near Celista in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), continues to pose a potential risk to properties, the CSRD said in an update.
Meanwhile, an evacuation order for Skimikin has been downgraded to an evacuation alert. All people living on properties in the Skimikin area and Electoral Area C can return home.
The CSRD notes an evacuation order may need to be reissued if the wildfire situation takes an unexpected turn.
Here’s what to do when on evacuation alert:
• Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, immediate care needs for dependents.
• Replenish any items that have expired or need replacement, ensure you and your family members have enough clothing and incidentals for a 72-hour period and have these items readily available for quick departure. See www.preparedbc.ca for details.
• Assist your local Emergency Support Services Team by self-registering now on the Evacuee Registration and Assistance website at ess.gov.bc.ca. This streamlines the registration process in an Evacuation Order.
• Contact family members, advise them of the situation and determine a meeting location outside of the evacuation area where you can safely reconnect should the area be evacuated.
• Accommodation in the area can be limited. Make arrangements to stay with family or friends, if possible.
• Take care of your pets or any other animals by moving them to a safe location. Make plans for their care if you will not be at home.
• Arrange transportation for all household members. Prepare to move any disabled persons and/or children.
Update: 3 p.m.
Following the now-daily CSRD and BCWS briefing, some additional information is available about the Bush Creek East wildfire.
The new fire perimeter, as of 2 p.m. Aug. 26, is 43,111 hectares. Fire information officer Mike McCulley said the number is based on extended fingers of fire reaching out and extending the entire size of the fire, but said he has seen a few quiet days of growth.
McCulley focused on the area above Lee Creek first in an update, saying cleanup crews are working to keep the shoulders of that unburned area secure and tight line work, keeping flames away from fuel. Small hand ignitions may be done by crews and a backup plan is in place to utilize roads to create a stronger fire guard if needed.
Above Magna Bay, McCulley said a similar situation is in place, with crews working or building a guard and getting as close to the fire as possible.
Weather predictions still include warmer temperatures with a system incoming around Tuesday that could bring some southwest winds and precipitation, he said.
McCulley emphasized BC Wildfire is working with whoever they need to to get the fire under control and engaging and communicating with community members, looking forward and not backward at past events in the area.
He also said there have been no new thefts or moving of equipment in the area that he is aware of.
Updated specific operational information will be posted to the BC Wildfire Service website as it becomes available.
Conditions surrounding the Bush Creek East wildfire remain largely the same going into the weekend.
A 10 a.m. update from BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) stated that the fire’s perimeter now sits at 41,806 hectares. Clearer skies allowed aircraft to fly Friday and get a clearer picture of the perimeter, said BCWS.
This week marks the beginning of a trend of warmer weather in the fire region with temperatures forecasted to hit a high of 24 C with lower humidity today (Aug. 26).
The warmer weather pattern will also bring some light winds, added BCWS.
Fire behaviour is expected to increase because of both the wind and the temperatures, and the active fire will be more visible. More smoke will also be produced, affecting the region’s air quality.
Hazards remain in the fire area, including danger trees and hazards related to the emergency response like ground equipment and aircraft engaging in suppression work from the sky, said BCWS.
Operations remain similar to earlier in the week, and a full breakdown is available on the BCWS website, under the Bush Creek East fire’s ‘details’ tab.
More information will be shared as it becomes available.