An evacuation order remains in place for the Bunting Lake Wildfire burning near the Mabel Lake Forest Service Road east of Lumby. (Sylvia Wilson photo)

An evacuation order remains in place for the Bunting Lake Wildfire burning near the Mabel Lake Forest Service Road east of Lumby. (Sylvia Wilson photo)

3,000-hectare wildfire closes Mabel Lake service road

Rural Lumby home and cabin owners evacuated Tuesday, July 20

The wildfire that has displaced cabin and homeowners on Mabel Lake has swollen nearly five times as of Wednesday forcing the closure of the forest service road of the same name.

Updated mapping from the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) saw the Bunting Road wildfire grow from 600 hectares early Tuesday to 3,000 by 5 p.m.

In a 3:30 p.m. update Wednesday, BCWS said the Mabel Lake Forest Service Road is closed from Kilometre 16 to 40 to protect the safety of the public and personnel responding to the wildfire burning on the Lumby side of the lake.

“One helicopter will support crews by bucketing the fire today,” BCWS said July 21. “There was growth on the fire yesterday but there is not an updated size estimate at this time.”

An evacuation order has been issued for those in the 10,000 to 17,000 block of Mabel Lake Forest Service Road.

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) issued the order at 10:42 a.m. Tuesday, July 20, based on recommendations from BCWS who are battling the Bunting Road wildfire on the east side (Lumby) of Mabel Lake.

“If you are in this area, you must leave immediately,” stated BCWS.

The order affects 18 parcels accommodating about 66 properties the RDNO said. Members of the RCMP and other applicable agencies will be expediting this action.

The RDNO does not expect that the evacuation order will be lifted in the short term, and evacuees will not have access to their houses while the order is in place, therefore bring your pets and important items with you.

The Bunting Road wildfire is burning out of control, about 41 kilometres northeast of Lumby.

Properties along the forest service road, a.k.a. Lumby Mabel Lake Road, including properties known as the Cottonwoods are affected.

Monday, seven BC Wildfire Service firefighters, along with industry partners, worked to control line hold.

“Crews have made good progress on the fire,” BCWS said. “Constructing guard on the north and south ends of the west flank, widening existing roadways and working on small hot spots in a plantation east of the fire.”

What you should do – follow the travel route provided below, and follow these instructions:

• Travel south on Mabel Lake Forest Service Road, aka Lumby Mabel Lake Road to the Village of Lumby (approximately 50 kilometres).

• Turn west towards Vernon on Highway 6 to Coldstream (Vernon) (approximately 20 kilometres)

• Register as an evacuee at the RDNO’s Office at 9848 Aberdeen Rd, Coldstream, BC V1B 2K9. Evacuees can also register online at https://ess.gov.bc.ca/

Important: leave the area before registering

Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers.

• Close all windows and doors.

• Close gates (latch) but do not lock.

• Gather your family and, if you have room, take a neighbour or someone needing transportation. Do not use more vehicles than you have to.

• Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and keys) only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash.

• Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.

For further information visit the RDNO’s website at www.rdno.ca or the RDNO’s Facebook page.

B.C. Wildfires 2021Fire evacuation

 

Fires glow on the hills above Mabel Lake July 14, as seen from the Enderby side from the marina. (Bruce Ingleson photo)

Fires glow on the hills above Mabel Lake July 14, as seen from the Enderby side from the marina. (Bruce Ingleson photo)