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UPDATE: Shuswap wildfire being attacked from the skies Saturday

Fire behaviour may increase as residents returned this week to wildfire-ravaged North Shuswap
A helicopter buckets forested areas over the Bush Creek East wildfire in the North Shuswap. (Rebecca Willson-Salmon Arm Observer)

Update: 4:15 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service is in the air over the Shuswap, attacking the Bush Creek East blaze from above.

Aircraft are supporting the firefighting efforts at the Bush Creek East wildfire, BCWS said in an update.

A group of skimmers is using Neskonlith Lake on Saturday to support ground crews southwest of Sorrento near Squilax Mountain, said BCWS. Tankers are planned to drop retardant in the Tsalkom Mountain area, southwest of Adams Lake, on Sunday, if conditions allow. This will help to reinforce existing containment lines in the area, constructed by ground crews with heavy equipment.

The fire northeast of Chase is going to be more visible in the surrounding areas over the weekend, said BCWS. Weather conditions this weekend include increased temperatures resulting in increased fire behaviour.

Fire activity is expected to continue to increase through Sunday.

Original story:

The Bush Creek East wildfire continues to burn, possibly becoming more visible over the weekend due to changing weather.

The BC Wildfire Service’s (BCWS) Friday (Sept. 8) update notes higher temperatures and light winds affecting firefighting efforts over the weekend. With no precipitation in the forecast, this weather ridge will build Saturday and push east by Sunday, said BCWS.

Fuel is becoming more available for the fire to burn at lower elevations, and areas at upper elevations will likely increase in fire behaviour over the weekend with continuous warming and drying weather, said BCWS. Winds could increase because of the addition of slope and lake proximity factors, so fire behaviour is likely to also increase.

Flames may be seen rising and creating more smoke, potentially burning in the treetops. Light winds shouldn’t cause fire to move from tree to tree, said BCWS, but it’s possible. Sunday is forecast to have more wind, and some fire growth is possible.

Residents returning to the area means more traffic on the roads and BCWS is reminding drivers to be watchful for firefighting and BC Hydro crews continuing to work. Hazards remain in the area and people returning should stay out of forest areas.

One hundred and forty one firefighters are working in the Adams Complex region, with 40 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters.

In the Little Shuswap area, the update said the guard along Banshee Road was being patrolled as well as the fire’s edge off of Bru Road. Heavy equipment including skidders and water tenders will attack west of Bruhn Creek.

In the Meadows, Onyx and Scotch Creek areas, hot spots are being monitored. Helicopters are bucketing hot spots at Onyx Creek and crews are demobilizing hose lays and equipment around Lee Creek.

Crews are mopping up the active fire inside the guard around 5400/5402 Road, and establishing a backline along 540 and 1600 Roads.

In Turtle Valley, monitoring is ongoing above the highway and along the east ridge line.

BCWS acknowledged the work of its own firefighters, emergency crews, local residents and international contingents in a video posted Friday.

The CSRD and BCWS will share updates as needed throughout the weekend.

Read more: ‘Nobody died’: Public view aftermath of wildfire that ravaged North Shuswap

Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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