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Update: Progress made on fires near Sicamous, Bush Creek East blaze grows

Fire near Adams Lake now at 310 hectares
The Bush Creek East wildfire burning west of Adams Lake was estimated to be 310 hectares as of Tuesday afternoon, July 18, 2023. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Update: 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 18

Four wildfires east of Sicamous are no longer out of control.

As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) had the Owlhead FSR 2 wildfire classified as under control, while the Owlhead FSR 1 wildfire to the south was being held. Both were spot sized (less than .009 hectares).

Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, another spot-sized fire, Yard Creek South, was discovered east of the Owlhead FSR1. As of 3 p.m. it was classified as being held. Another blaze northeast of that, the Yard Creek fire that was discovered Monday evening, had been reclassified to under control.

Another blaze that was out of control Tuesday morning, the Gannett Creek fire north of Adams Lake, had been reclassified as being held.

The status of the .1 hectare Bolean Lake Road wildfire southeast of Falkland had also been changed to under control.

BC Wildfire Service also updated its estimate of the size of the Bush Creek East wildfire west of Adams Lake. As of Tuesday afternoon, the fire was 310 hectares.

Original story

Cooler weather and rain Monday afternoon helped control one Shuswap fire, but accompanying lighting ignited several more blazes throughout the region.

To the region’s east, north of Chase, lightning on July 17 was responsible for a pair of ignitions, the spot-sized (.009 hectares) Skmana Lake and Banshee Lake wildfires. A BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) initial attack crew responded to both Tuesday morning, July 18, and as of 8:45 a.m. the Banshee Lake blaze was under control.

To the north, the lightning-caused Bush Creek East wildfire was last estimated to be 265 hectares, though a BCWS spokesperson said Tuesday morning they were hoping to get an update later in the day. BCWS said rainfall on Monday along with cooler temperatures helped to reduce fire behaviour at the site to a Rank 1 smoldering ground fire. On Tuesday, 23 BCWS personnel were responding to the blaze along with multiple pieces of heavy equipment. While the fire remained classified as out of control, BCWS said it posed no threat to local structures.

Read more: Bolean Lake Road fire burns out of control near Falkland lake

Read more: France and Italy send firefighting planes to Greece as several wildfires burn around the capital

To the north, along the west side of Adams Lake, the lightning-caused North Honeymoon FSR fire, discovered on July 17, was estimated to be 2.5 hectares and also classified as out of control. An initial attack crew responded Monday. At the north end of Adams Lake, the Gannett Creek wildfire, also discovered Monday, was estimated to be 1.5 hectares. BCWS crews were responding Tuesday to this blaze.

Monday’s lightning was also the suspected cause of four new wildfires east of Sicamous. As of Tuesday morning, the Owlhead FSR1, Owlhead FSR2 and Yard Creek wildfires were spot-sized and out of control, with and a BCWS initial attack crew was responding to each. Northeast of the Yard Creek fire and north of Highway 1, the Crazy Creek fire was also spot-sized and out of control. BCWS was monitoring this fire which was burning into the alpine and posed no threat to structures.

Southeast of Falkland, south of Spanish Lake, Monday’s lightning also ignited the Bolean Lake Road wildfire which, as of 5:15 p.m. that day was estimated to be .1 hectares. According to the Shuswap Emergency Program, 10 BCWS personnel responded to the fire Monday along with a helicopter and air tanker.
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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