Rain eases some fire activity at White Rock Lake wildfire

However, the fire’s northeast, east and southeast flanks have seen increased fire behaviour throughout the week

The White Rock Lake fire as seen from 50th Parallel Winery in Lake Country at 5 a.m. on Aug. 16. (Jessie Ballard photo)

The White Rock Lake fire as seen from 50th Parallel Winery in Lake Country at 5 a.m. on Aug. 16. (Jessie Ballard photo)

Precipitation on Saturday (Aug. 21) helped lessen some fire activity at the White Rock Lake wildfire, but BC Wildfire noted that the fire’s northeast, east and southeast flanks have all seen increased fire behaviour throughout the week.

Crews on Saturday will focus on suppression activities on all flanks of the fire, with emphasis along the Westside Road region where the wildfire has impacted communities.

On Friday, the fire was measured at an estimated size of 81,139 hectares. But thanks to more accurate mapping along the northern flank of the fire, the fire is now measured at 80,745 hectares.

There are 244 wildland firefighters on-site on Saturday, supported by 88 structure protection personnel and 12 helicopters. Ten danger tree assessors/fallers are also assisting crews, with the help of 57 pieces of heavy equipment, members of BC Wildfire Service’s incident management team and additional support staff.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Devastation captured from White Rock Lake wildfire

On the fire’s north flank, crews are patrolling and mopping-up areas from Adelphi FSR to Woods Lake, Grange FSR west to Douglas Road, Biancotto Lake north to Paxton Lake and north to Highway 97.

Crews located along the fire’s north flank will focus on mop-up operations around impacted neighbourhoods by the northern finger of the fire. No growth has been reported on all fire perimeters of the northern finger north of Highway 97 and down towards Woods Lake.

On the northeast flank south of Glenemma, crews conducted routine hand ignitions on Friday to secure the edge of the containment line, which is located south of Irish Creek Road and west of Westside Road.

“As the fire progressed north along this flank, crews used this tactic to secure the edge of the control line,” said BC Wildfire.

Heavy equipment worked westward to construct a guard from Irish Creek, working eastward from Cedar Creek. Heavy equipment and crews are also constructing a guard between Irish Creek and McGregor Creek to hold the line closer to the fire perimeter.

On the east flank, crews and equipment will continue to defend pre-established containment lines above communities in an effort to protect structures. Structure protection personnel are continuing to act on hot spots and mop-up around impacted interface areas.

According to BC wildfire, drought conditions in the area are resulting in deep burning forest fuels, making it difficult to fully extinguish the area.

Containment lines are being re-established from the 2009 Terrace Mountain fire to tie into the guard at Stuart Lake. Heavy equipment is also working along the Bouleau FSR towards Bouleau Lake to open up the tree canopy along the road.

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@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@kelownacapnews.com

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B.C. Wildfires 2021Okanagan