The Crazy Creek Gorge Wildfire near Sicamous was still classified as out of control and estimated to be 2,446 hectares in size as of Monday, Aug. 2. (Shuswap Emergency Program Facebook photo)

The Crazy Creek Gorge Wildfire near Sicamous was still classified as out of control and estimated to be 2,446 hectares in size as of Monday, Aug. 2. (Shuswap Emergency Program Facebook photo)

Shuswap wildfires: New blaze west of Seymour Arm, rain helps limit fire growth in region

Firefighting crews making progress on Two Mile Road fire near Sicamous

A new wildfire was burning east of the Momich Lake blaze on Monday morning.

The Humamilt Lake fire was reported on Aug. 2, and was estimated to be 0.6 hecatres. A BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) spokesperson said their crews were attempting to locate the fire, the effort hindered by the pervasive smoke. The fire was approximately six kilometres from the eastern edge of the area covered by the Momich Lake wildfire which, as of Monday morning, Aug. 2, was estimated to be 6,500 hectares in size.

Regarding the Momich fire, an evacuation alert remained in effect for 10045 Adams East Forest Service Road and properties to the east (9701, 9681 Adams East FSR), with the fire still classified as out of control. The BCWS was monitoring the fire with the support of industry and 40 pieces of heavy equipment. A structure protection unit was in place and working on site.

Southeast of the Momich and Humamilt fires, the Hunakwa Lake fire near Seymour Arm, as of Aug. 2, was estimated to be 2,700 hectares in size and burning out of control. An evacuation order remained in effect for Seymour Arm.

The BCWS said the prior day’s rain helped calm the fire down, resulting in minimal growth overnight. However, the fire was difficult to track due to the smoke preventing an aerial assessment.

On Aug. 2 the wildfire service reported having 27 firefighters responding and two helicopters, with crews continuing to secure the northwest corner of Seymour Arm, protecting structures and the community.

Thirty-eight properties were being protected by structural protection units, while some properties deemed FireSmart had their own sprinklers, freeing up equipment for other properties.

The BCWS said a structural protection specialist assessed the east shore of Seymour Arm properties and cabins. As the fire continued to burn south within Anstey Hunakwa Provincial, the primary objective for crews was to focus on making containment on the south flank, east of Hunakwa, to stop the spread to Shuswap Lake.

“The east flank continues to be a challenge as it slowly burns north into inoperable terrain, posing a risk to responders,” said the BCWS, which was working with industry to widen roads and construct containment lines around the community.

South of the Hunakwa fire, the Crazy Creek Gorge Forest Service Road (FSR) fire was estimated to be 2,446 hectares in size and burning out of control. An evacuation order was issued on July 31 for the boat-in communities of Queest Village and Pete Martin Bay. The BCWS was monitoring the fire which, as of Monday morning, Aug. 2, was sitting high on the north facing slope in a remote location. The BCWS said it would be mobilizing heavy equipment with industry partners on Tuesday, Aug. 3, and advised residents in the area to be aware of heavy equipment on the Wilson and Anstey forest service roads. A structural protection specialist working area at Queest and Pete Martin Bay was utilizing the local waterworks infrastructure in applying structural protection apparatus.

Further south, in the Sicamous area, the Two Mile Road wildfire was holding steady at 1,200 hectares. Sunday’s rain was expected to have dampened the fire’s growth and behaviour.

Read more: Evacuation alert for White Rock Lake fire expanded east from Falkland

Read more: Crazy Creek Gorge FSR wildfire near Sicamous grows

According to the BCWS, the fire was moving in a northeast direction up and away from Sicamous, much of which remains on evacuation alert along with Swansea Point.

As of Aug. 2, the BCWS had 58 firefighters working the blaze, along with three helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment. Aircraft hadn’t been able to fly over the blaze for several days due to the heavy smoke.

“Crews are making excellent progress on the northwest flank above the community with the objective to keep fire high on the slope away from the community below,” said the BCWS. “Crews are securing flanks on the southeast from Hummingbird Creek along Hwy 97A to the northwest.”

The BC Wildfire Service was assisting the Sicamous Fire Department and the Swansea Point Fire Department with this incident.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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