Wildfire near Lytton, B.C. still estimated at 1,500 hectares
New information about a raging wildfire in the British Columbia interior will become available Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, the Nohomin Creek fire near Lytton was estimated to be around 1,500 hectares, or 15 square kilometers, an assessment that remained the same on Saturday morning.
Located about 1.7 miles northwest of Lytton, the out-of-control blaze broke out on Thursday and grew rapidly as winds swept its growth. First Nations officials said Friday that at least six residential structures were destroyed.
At least 6 homes lost in wildfire near Lytton, B.C. swell to 1,500 hectares
In an interview with Global News on Saturday morning, BC Wildfire Service information officer Nicole Bonnett said night crews reported minimal fire activity and limited growth.
The size of the fire will hopefully be updated in the afternoon, Bonnett said, but added that « the first priority will be the response and the protection of homes in the area. »
Bonnett also said more crews are expected to join the approximately 80 firefighters already on site.
Structures lost in the fast-growing Lytton wildfire
Saturday’s plans include attempting to establish lines of control along the northern and southern flanks, small-scale ignitions to clean up unburnt fuels and creating landing pads for helicopters.
“There was minimal fire activity on the north flank of the fire, which was largely smoldering downhill,” BC Wildfire said in its Saturday morning update. « Accessibility and terrain continue to be challenges for on-site staff and resources. »
‘Stay prepared’: Lytton First Nation official on wildfires burning in area Friday
BC Wildfire says the fire is difficult to fight due to steep terrain and thick smoke. On Friday, officials said the fire’s behavior was rated four to five on its one-to-six scale.
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« This means the fire is a crown fire with an organized flame front and a moderate to rapid rate of spread, » BC Wildfire explained.
“Tree candling and close-range spotting have also been observed. Winds are around 30 to 40 kilometers per hour and are pushing the fire west, away from communities at this time.
Evacuation orders have been issued by Lytton First Nation and the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD). Areas under evacuation orders include:
- Nohomeen RI 23
- Papyum IRs 27, 27A
- Lytton IR 27B
- 27C Papyum Cemetery
- Stryen IR 9
- 24 properties addressed in Electoral Zone I (Blue Sky Country)
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The TNRD also issued an evacuation alert for 31 properties in Electoral Zone I and declared a state of emergency for the zone.
« A lot of good work is being done through Lytton First Nation, supported by the Thompson Nicola Regional District and Emergency BC, as well as surrounding communities, » Bonnett said.
Winds are expected in the afternoon, along with a chance of precipitation on Sunday. Environment Canada predicts a 60% chance of showers in the region, along with a risk of thunderstorms. Winds of 20 to 40 km / h are also announced.
“While any precipitation is welcome, it is unlikely to provide significant relief to ground dryness and ground fuels,” Bonnett said.
Also, due to the wildfire, Environment Canada has issued a smoky sky bulletin for the Fraser Canyon. Conditions are expected to last 24 to 48 hours, although the bulletin is updated on Sunday.
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As of Saturday morning, there were 17 fires listed across the province. Most were either considered in control (6) or detained (7), with four listed as out of control, including Nohomin Creek.
Additionally, most of the 17 fires were less than 10 hectares in size (8). However, there have been six fires listed as covering more than 100 hectares, with the largest being a fire listed at 4,700 hectares burning just south of the Yukon border.
The out-of-control fire, which started July 2, is one of twelve blazes in northern British Columbia
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