Update (July 23):
BC Wildfire Service said it is planning an aerial ignition today, July 23, on the northwest flank of the Young Lake fire if conditions are optimal.
In its latest update, BCWS said it wants to take advantage of cooler temperates and low fire activity.
“The goal of this operation is to secure the containment line by removing unburned fuels along this flank,” the update said. “This strategy will provide a fuel-free area and increases the overall effectiveness of suppression operations by preventing any further spread.”
To prepare for these operations, a water truck will spray water along the containment line and additional firefighters will be on site. Heavy equipment will also begin constructing a guard.
“We do not take doing these operations lightly and will closely evaluate conditions and plans may change as conditions change,” the update added.
There are 15 firefighters, a Structure Protection Unit and 10 pieces of heavy equipment on site.
UPDATE (July 22):
Minimal fire behaviour was demonstrated on the incident yesterday. Ground personnel and structure protection specialists completed assessments and sprinkler deployment on Sharpe Lake and today they will conduct assess-ments on Eagan Lake.
To take advantage of cooler temperatures and low fire activity a planned aerial ignition may occur on the north-western flank, if conditions are optimal. The goal of this operation is to secure the containment line by removing unburned fuels along this flank. This strategy will provide a fuel free area and increases the overall effectiveness of suppression operations by preventing any further spread.
In preparation for these operations, a water truck will spray water along the containment line and additional fire-fighters will be on site.
We do not take doing these operations lightly and will closely evaluate conditions and plans may change as condi-tions change.
Heavy equipment will also begin constructing a guard on the incident today.
Update (July 22)
The Young Lake wildfire has experienced increased wildfire activity due to high winds.
BC Wildfire Service said Thursday, July 22, that the north end of the fire saw aggressive fire behavior and growth, but smoky conditions have been made it difficult to track the size of the fire at this time. The fire was last estimated Wednesday at 2,631 hectares.
Crews were on site yesterday setting up structure protection apparatuses. A Structure Protection Unit has been deployed from Williams Lake to do structure protection and triage on Sharpe Lake and then work on Eagan Lake.
A structure protection unit is a cache of equipment stored in a trailer that is used by trained crews to set up sprinklers on and around a structure. Structure protection specialists at the BC Wildfire Service plan and oversee structure protection strategies and tactics when there’s a possibility that a wildfire could encroach into an urban environment.
They will assess properties and set up sprinklers if required.
The Young Lake wildfire has grown to more than 2,631 hectares, prompting the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to issue an evacuation order for 103 properties in the Bonaparte Plateau.
The TNRD is asking those in the evacuation order area to leave immediately, but warns there is a “critical shortage” of commercial lodging available in Kamloops and throughout the region. The fire is 35 kilometres southeast of 70 Mile House.
“Evacuees are asked to make arrangements to stay with friends or family,” the TNRD said. “Emergency Support Services will be given only to those whose primary residence is under the evacuation order.”
BC Wildfire Service said ncreased fire behaviour on Sunday night resulted in the fire moving about four kilometres run to the northeast. BCWS personnel were onsite Tuesday and established structure protection on three structures. Air tankers were onsite but were unable to action due to poor visibility.
Crews were again onsite Wednesday establishing structure protection on properties. A structure protection specialist has been requested to do assessments in the Eagan Lake and Sharpe Lake area.
Cariboo Fire Centre is in the process of taking this fire over from the Sparks Lake Incident Management Team.
Evacuees requiring Emergency Support Services are required to report to the McArthur Island Sports Centre located at 1655 Island Parkway in Kamloops between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
An additional 231 properties remain on evacuation alert due to the Young Lake fires.
If you choose, you can self-register using the Evacuee Registration & Assistance Tool or by calling the Emergency Support Services info line at 1-800-585-9559.