Cooler temperatures and rain, with more in the forecast, have helped a bit with suppression efforts on the White Rock Lake wildfire. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Cooler temperatures and rain, with more in the forecast, have helped a bit with suppression efforts on the White Rock Lake wildfire. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

Crews’ efforts helped slightly by Mother Nature on White Rock Lake wildfire

Some areas get rain, others do not as firefighters continue to battle ‘the beast’

Cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast hope to help with suppression efforts on the White Rock Lake wildfire.

The BC Wildfire Service said Saturday, Aug. 21, at 8:35 p.m. in its last update on the fire, those suppression activities continued on all flanks of the fire with a focus along Westside Road where the wildfire has impacted communities.

Precipitation received throughout the morning Saturday helped to lessen fire activity, however not all areas of the fire received precipitation.

On the east flank, crews and equipment will continue to defend pre-established containment lines above communities and protect structures. Structure protection personnel are continuing to action hot spots and mop-up around impacted interface areas.

“The Drought Code in this area of the fire is resulting in incredibly deep burning forest fuels making it difficult to bring this area to full extinguishment,” said BC Wildfire. “Heavy equipment continues to work on re-establishing containment lines from the Terrace Mountain fire (2009) to tie into the guard at Stuart Lake. Heavy equipment is also working along the Bouleau FSR towards Bouleau Lake to open up the tree canopy along the road.”

Crews continued with routine hand ignitions along the northeast flank south of Glenemma Saturday to secure the edge of the containment line, south of Irish Creek Road/west of Westside Road. As the fire progressed north along this flank, crews used this tactic to secure the edge of the control line. Heavy equipment continues to construct guard from Irish Creek, working westward, and from Cedar Creek working eastward. Heavy equipment and crews are also constructing guards between Irish Creek and McGregor Creek to hold the line closer to the fire perimeter.

The focus Sunday for the norht flank will be to complete mop-up operations around impacted neighbourhoods. Saturday, crews patrolled and did mop-up fro Adelphi Forest Service Road to Woods Lake; Grange Forest Service Road west to Douglas Road; from Biancotto Lake north to Paxton Lake and north to Highway 97. That work continues Sunday.

There continues to be no growth along all fire perimeters of the northern finger north of Highway 97 and down towards Woods Lake.

The west flank of the fire continues to be observed by aerial resources. No growth has been observed along this flank over the past week.

Sam Siddall, Crew Supervisor for the Thunderbirds Unit Crew, explains what goes into building fuel free and how it will be used to help contain the White Rock Lake wildfire.

All evacuation alerts and orders in relation to the fire remain in effect.

Road Closures

Highway 97 is open between Pinaus Lake Road and Monte Creek for 32 km for through travel, no stopping;

Douglas Lake Road is closed between Highway 97 and Chapperon Lake near Falkland;

Westside Road is also closed in both directions between Deighton Road and Louis Estates Road (19 to 60 km east of West Kelowna).

For all information on the White Rock Lake wildfire from BC Wildfire Service, click here.

READ MORE: Rain eases some fire activity at White Rock Lake wildfire

READ MORE: ‘We’re really starting to get a handle on some of these fires’: Sicamous Fire Chief

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B.C. Wildfires 2021