The BC Wildfire Service used favourable conditions Tuesday, Aug. 24, to begin a small-scale planned ignition operations along the northeastern flank of the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

The BC Wildfire Service used favourable conditions Tuesday, Aug. 24, to begin a small-scale planned ignition operations along the northeastern flank of the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Good conditions prompt ignition burn on White Rock Lake fire near Vernon

Goal is to remove approximately 350 hectares of fuels between the established control line and the fire

Favourable conditions Tuesday prompted the BC Wildfire Service to proceed with small-scale planned ignition operations along the northeastern flank of the White Rock Lake wildfire.

The operations were done north of Newport Beach toward Irish Creek Road.

“The objective was to remove approximately 350 hectares of fuels that currently lie between the established control line and the fire, which is currently burning in steep, inaccessible terrain,” said BCWF on its Wildfires of Note page on the White Rock Lake fire at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Low-intensity aerial ignitions were carried out using plastic sphere dispensers, and ground crews used hand ignitions off the control line to ensure containment.

Hose lay had been established along the control line where ground crews were actively patrolling for any spot fires. Helicopter water bucketing supported ground personnel throughout the duration of the ignitions. Increased smoke in this area of the fire was highly visible to nearby communities.

The wildfire remains listed as active and out of control, and is an estimated 80,951 hectares in size.

The Okanagan Indian Band expanded an evacuation order in relation to the White Rock Lake fire at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24. In response to numerous inquiries on its Facebook page, the band said the order is a precautionary measure due to the controlled burn taking place tomorrow (Wednesday).

The affected OKIB properties list can be found here.

BUNTING ROAD WILDFIRE

The fire 41 kilometres northeast of Lumby remains classified as active and out of control, and is 4,700 hectares in size.

The last BCWS update at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, said heavy equipment is working in the north to establish an additional guard in the vicinity of Tsuius Creek. They are also working on a machine guard in the south near the South Cascades road.

On the west side, crews and heavy equipment have made significant progress securing this side of the fire, nearest to Mabel Lake. A machine guard was completed to protect structures along Mabel Lake Forest Service Road. Crews continue to work along the FSR mopping up to 100 feet, extinguishing hot spots as they go. Crews will continue to action the hotspots that pop up in areas along the priority flanks of the fire.

The Regional District of North Okanagan downgraded the evacuation order to an alert Monday, Aug. 23, for the 6,000-17,000 Block of Mabel Lake Forest Service Road, including Cottonwoods and Cascade Beach Recreation Site.

The evacuation alert also remains in place for the 3,300 – 6,000 block of Mabel Lake Forest Service Road.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Tactical evacs caused by Westside Road fire partially lifted, traffic flowing

READ MORE: PHOTOS: White Rock Lake wildfire devastates North Westside homes



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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