Smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire can be seen rising over the hills from Vernon. (Shannon-Lee Foxton photo)

Smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire can be seen rising over the hills from Vernon. (Shannon-Lee Foxton photo)

VIDEO: Wildfire near Westwold closes road

Evacuation orders, alerts still in effect for Westwold, Monte Lake communities

The White Rock Lake wildfire continues to burn out of control Thursday near the communities of Westwold and Monte Lake.

In a July 21 update, BC Wildfire Services (BCWS) said the fire was active on the north flank Wednesday and the use of airtankers wasn’t possible due to high winds, heavy smoke and the steep terrain.

Douglas Lake Road is closed to public traffic while crews work on the fire in the area, DriveBC said. An update on the road’s reopening is expected Monday, July 26.

The fire is still estimated at around 7,401 hectares, according to the provincial agency.

BCWS personnel continue to work with industry partners to establish and reinforce guard lines and protect infrastructure.

Three helicopters will aid in the firefighting efforts today (July 22).

READ MORE: Residents call for more help battling blaze near Westwold

Forecasted winds are expected to challenge crews but temperatures are expected to be cooler today.

More ground crews are expected to arrive on scene over the next few days. Currently, 19 BCWS firefighters and 28 support staff are being backed up by three helicopters, 26 pieces of heavy equipment and one structural protection unit.

Evacuation orders are still in effect for more than 70 properties, as issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and another 165 properties near Westwold are on alert. The evacuation order and alert borders are now nearing Falkland, touching the Regional District of North Okanagan boundaries.

The official cause of the White Rock Lake wildfire is still undetermined.

READ MORE: Vernon group gives wildfire evacuated animals a leg up

READ MORE: Brenda Creek wildfire grows to 662 hectares


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B.C. Wildfires 2021