Smoke rises from the hillside from the 12,500-hectare out-of-control White Rock Lake wildfire burning near Westwold July 25, 2021. (Sandra Pringle - Facebook)

Smoke rises from the hillside from the 12,500-hectare out-of-control White Rock Lake wildfire burning near Westwold July 25, 2021. (Sandra Pringle - Facebook)

UPDATE: Increased fire activity leads to new evacuation alerts for White Rock Lake wildfire

Will Lake and the west end of Pinaus Lake now added to list of properties on alert

UPDATE: 7:50 p.m.

As a precautionary measure, Will Lake and the west end of Pinaus Lake in Electoral Area D have been put on evacuation alert Monday night due to the increasing activity of the White Rock Lake wildfire burning near Westwold.

The wildfire burning in the area of White Rock Lake near the boundary of the Thompson Nicola Regional District and the CSRD’s Electoral Area D is growing and may pose a danger, said BC Wildfire. As a precautionary measure and due to the potential danger to life, health or property, an evacuation alert is in effect for the following areas:

The south-west corner of CSRD Electoral Area D, including Will Lake and the west end of Pinaus Lake.

Affected addresses include: 6439, 6445, 6453, 6491, 6493, 6495, 6497, 6567, 6575, and 6633 Pinaus Lake Forest Service Road.

In case of an evacuation order, your safest route out of the area is to travel east along the Pinaus-Square Lake Forest Service Road, said CSRD Emergency Operations Centre.

UPDATE: 4:51 p.m.

A large number of recreation sites within the proximity of Pinaus Lake and Bouleau Lake are now under an evacuation alert.

The alert was issued because of the potential danger to life and health by the Regional District of North Okanagan at the emergency operations centre due to the White Rock Lake wildfire, based upon a recommendation from the BC Wildfire Service.

Areas under the alert include:

• North and east of, and including Pinaus Lake – running south to include Bouleau Lake;

• East and South of Bouleau Lake – running west to the Thompson Nicolas Regional District Evacuation Alert and Order (South and parallel to Salmon River Fire Service Road);

An Evacuation Alert has been issued to prepare residents to evacuate their premises, property or recreational site should it be found necessary. Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation; however, they may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.

UPDATE: 4:13 p.m.

More homes are being evacuated.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an order for three property parcels in the vicinity of Westwold Monday afternoon.

The newly affected area is further east than the other two, inching closer to the North Okanagan Regional District boundaries.

For more information visit tnrd.ca.

Following suit, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation alert for those along the Salmon River Forest Service Road.

Original:

One-hundred and 39 firefighters are battling the White Rock Lake wildfire burning out of control near Westwold and Monte Lake at an estimated 12,500 hectares.

Hot temperatures and southwest winds increased fire behaviour significantly Sunday, July 25, BC Wildfire Services (BCWS) said in a Monday update. This caused the fire to grow to the northwest in the sawmill and Jimmy Lake area, producing a large column of smoke.

Extensive smoke and more fire growth is expected today (Monday, July 26). With no precipitation in the forecast, continued hot, dry and windy conditions will present challenges for firefighting efforts.

One hundred firefighters and 12 support staff arrived from Quebec and will be staying at a camp set up at the Salmon Lake Resort.

They will begin working on the fire today after being briefed Sunday.

The crews will be supported by six helicopters and 35 pieces of heavy equipment and 43 support staff and a structural support team.

More structural protection units have been requested, BCWS said.

Heavy equipment is being used to build large, cleared areas along guard lines known as “safe zones.” These areas provide shelter for firefighters if the activity is to suddenly flare up.

Airtankers will be used to apply retardant if conditions allow, meanwhile the helicopters will bucket water to help cool and slow the spread of fire so ground crews can work more effectively.

A structural protection unit is on-site assessing and prioritizing infrastructure and properties. The team includes one structural protection specialist, five staff, two structural protection trailers and six firefighters from two departments.

While more resources have been requested, fire trucks will be patrolling the active area and snuffing hot spots in an effort to further protect properties.

Staff from Tolko Industries was also aiding in the firefighting efforts, a company spokesperson said.

An evacuation order is in effect for areas south of Highway 97 near Westwold. Westwold north and Monte Lake still remain on evacuation alert.

READ MORE: Lumby hall opens to Kootenay wildfire evacuees

READ MORE: North Okanagan-Shuswap gas bar accepting Red Cross wildfire relief donations


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B.C. Wildfires 2021