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UPDATE: Fire crews working to protect structures in North Shuswap communities

Regional District update says 80 North Shuswap firefighters tackling hot spots in the area
A Shuswap Emergency Program mobile operations truck assists in protecting North Shuswap communities. (CSRD)

Update: 4:30 p.m.

The Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) posted an update regarding the Bush Creek East fire and the many communities it has affected, noting the organization is working to provide the most accurate and timely information.

All evacuation orders and alerts remain in place at this time.

North of Shuswap Lake, the SEP said crews and equipment are assessing opportunities for viable line construction in the Celista and Magna Bay areas. These lines would direct fire spread north, away from communities.

In the Lee Creek Drive area, structure protection is working and the fire is spreading slowly down slope, said the SEP. Crews will engage above structures and work along the fire’s perimeter once it gets close enough, reads the update.

Northwest of Magna Bay, along Bischoff Road, structural firefighters are triaging where to use structure protection resources. The SEP said the fire’s perimeter is accurate on the eastern flank and burning and Rank 1, posing no imminent threart to communities being protected by local fire departments.

At Little Shuswap Lake, the update reports a BC Wildfire Service crew and a team of Brazilian firefighters are working from Little Shuswap Lake north to Loakin-Bear Creek Road and the line has been tied in above homes since this morning. The crews continue to push north along Loakin-Bear and are building a machine line on the north side of Loakin Valley.

South of Highway 1, heavy helicopter bucketing has been working the western flank attempting to redirect the fire upslope to the south away from Chase.

Crews are putting in direct hand lines above homes to steer the fire away from homes in Sorrento.

The map shows evacuation alerts (yellow) and orders (red) near the Bush Creek East wildfire west of Adams Lake. (CSRD)
The map shows evacuation alerts (yellow) and orders (red) near the Bush Creek East wildfire west of Adams Lake. (CSRD)

Update: 12 p.m.

BC Wildfire Service has shared more details about the Bush Creek East wildfire.

Poor visibility has made updating an accurate fire perimeter difficult, said BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), and the most recent was obtained from thermal scanning and may be skewed due to radiant heat.

An updated perimeter will be shared once visibility improves, but BCWS said not to rely on these estimates to determine structural impacts.

There are currently 43 structural protection personnel responding, and 50 pieces of structure protection equipment are assigned. BCWS said the equipment is set up strategically to protect personnel and public safety and any movement can impact that safety.

Ground crews are working to reduce the chance of further spread in the Loakin Bear Road area as well as south of Highway 1.

Fire behaviour has decreased due to lower temperatures and reduced winds, but temperatures are expected to climb later this week.

Danger trees continue to pose a risk as well.

Airtankers are working north of Little Shuswap Lake to slow fire spread with retardant.

Original story:

The fire burning west of Adams Lake in the Shuswap remains relatively unchanged as visibility remains a challenge.

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, the Bush Creek East wildfire, which has been renamed to combine both the previous wildfire of the same name and the East Adams Lake fire, is sitting at an estimated 41,041 hectares. The fire remains out of control.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District shared an update stating there was less than half a mile of visibility yesterday surrounding most of the area, so the primary focus going forward will be ‘situational awareness.’

Evacuation alerts and orders that were in place Saturday, Aug. 19 remain in place.

Evacuees must register with Emergency Support Services. Call 250-833-3360 for more information.

Updated information is available at the BC Wildfire Service website and through both the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

Fire crews continue to tackle the blaze after it spread to North Shuswap communities, burning homes and businesses late last week and into the weekend. The CSRD said 80 firefighters from Scotch Creek, Celista and Anglemont are currently addressing fires and hot spots in the area.

Updates to come as they become available.

Read more: OKANAGAN WILDFIRES: What you need to know for Sunday, Aug. 20

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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