Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon residents cheer on firefighters as they return to camp from the White Rock Lake fire. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

‘Positive progress’ being made on all flanks of White Rock Lake wildfire

60 Canadian Armed Forces personnel were been deployed on Saturday, an additional 60 coming Sunday

Crews are seeing positive progress on all flanks of the White Rock Lake wildfire, BC Wildfire Service said in a Saturday morning (Aug. 28) update.

Infrared drone scans will be conducted along the west, east and northern flanks of the fire — which is burning out of control at an estimated size of 81,362 hectares — to help personnel target any remaining hot spots along these flanks.

“The expansive size of the fire continues to require a substantial workforce to ensure mop-up and patrol operations are thorough throughout the entire fire perimeter,” said BC Wildfire.

As a result, officials said that 60 Canadian Armed Forces personnel will be arriving to help with the blaze on Saturday, with an additional 60 Canadian Armed Forces personnel scheduled to deploy on Sunday to assist with patrol efforts along the west and north flanks of the fire.

READ MORE: Military on the move from 100 Mile House to Vernon to join White Rock Lake wildfire fight

The Fintry area received 5 mm of rain on Friday, while minimal amounts of rain were also observed at other areas of the fire.

On the northeast flank, south of Glenemma, on-site conditions in the Six Mile Creek area due to rain are prohibiting crews today from conducting a 3000-hectare planned ignition operation.

Crews in the Ewer Creek and Irish Creek areas are working to fully extinguish a fire perimeter in the area where a planned ignition occurred on Aug. 24, and are continuing to work on a 100 ft. blackline into the edge of the fire.

At the fire’s north flank, crews will continue to complete mop-up operations along the Ingram Forest Service Road. An infrared drone scan was completed along this flank, which helped crews action hotspots within 50 ft. of the fire perimeter. Crews will also action hot spots north of Highway 97.

No growth has been observed along the fire’s west flank this past week, and crews will continue to mop up and patrol from Torch Road to Monte Pratt today, as well as from Highway 97B to Torch Road. Danger tree assessments are also being completed in preparation for military personnel patrolling the area tomorrow.

On the fire’s southeast flank, crews have been successful in tackling any hot spots identified. Following a mop-up, BC Wildfire Service said that they will reassess the safety of the area to determine if changes are needed to evacuation orders and alerts.

There are currently 281 wildland firefighters on-site, supported by support staff, 92 structure protection personnel and members of BC Wildfire Service’s incident management team. Crews are assisted by 14 helicopters and seven danger tree assessors/fallers, and 40 pieces of heavy equipment.

READ MORE: Burn postponed again on White Rock Lake wildfire


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@kelownacapnews.com

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B.C. Wildfires 2021Okanagan