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RDNO Wildfire Update - August 16, 16:20 hrs

Posted Monday, August 16, 2021

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) has been working closely with the BC Wildfire Service to ensure up to date information is provided to residents regarding wildfire activity as soon as it becomes available. It has been a challenging few weeks in our region for those fighting the fires, those evacuated from their homes and those left on alert. We are committed to providing accurate information in a timely manner.

White Rock Lake Wildfire (#K61884)

The White Rock Lake wildfire continues to be a challenge for first responders and is now sized at an estimated 64,720 hectares. The cooler weather in the past week aided crews in their fight; however, the high winds over Sunday afternoon resulted in a significant increase in fire activity. The BC Wildfire Service is continuously reassessing containment lines and objectives moving forward with crews, equipment and aerial resources in place. Due to poor visibility due to smoke, aircrafts have currently been grounded.

The RDNO's current Evacuation Order is still in effect and residents are encouraged to stay up to date with current situations the best they can.

There are currently 219 wildland firefighters, 143 structural protection personnel, 16 helicopters, 18 danger tree assessors/ fallers, 64 pieces of heavy equipment along with the BC Wildfire Service Incident Management Team and additional support staff working on this fire.

This fire spans the boundaries of multiple regional districts, municipalities, and the Okanagan Indian Band. The affected jurisdictions will issue evacuation Alerts and Orders on the recommendation of BC Wildfire Service. Information for areas outside of the RDNO Electoral Area boundaries can be found with the local area authority as follows:

Regional District of Central Okanagan
Columbia Shuswap Regional District
Thompson-Nicola Regional District
Okanagan Indian Band
Township of Spallumcheen
City of Armstrong 

The Fires of Note webpage for White Rock Lake wildfire is a good resource for residents to stay up to date.

Bunting Road Wildfire (#K41561)

The Bunting Road wildfire has merged with the Tsuius Creek (K41384) wildfire, and the total size is now mapped at 4733.7 ha. High winds yesterday caused increased fire activity to the south, but helicopters were able to bucket this area with success. Crews are continuing with hand ignitions on the south and west sides. A small scale planned ignition on the west side was completed on Sunday, August 15 between established guards east of Mabel Lake, south of Torrent Creek and north of Mable Smyth Road. This operation removed a pocket of unburned area and decreased ability for the fire to challenge guards in this location.

On the west side, crews and heavy equipment have made significant progress securing this side of the fire, nearest to Mabel Lake. A machine guard was constructed to protect structures along the Mabel Lake Forest Service Road. A thermal imaging scan was completed on the west side on August 10, which will provide location information for hot spot targets that crews will continue to action. On the north side, crews have completed the machine guard and direct attack operation to secure the guard.

The Evacuation Alert and Order for this fire remain in place and are unchanged since it was issued on July 26, 2021.

There are currently 16 firefighters, 14 pieces of heavy equipment, and the Shuswap Complex has 10 helicopters available should they be required.

The Mabel Lake Forest Service Road remains closed. Persons who drive into the active fire area create a safety hazard to themselves and the responders in this active worksite. Please respect the firefighting efforts and stay clear.

The Fires of Note webpage for the Bunting Road wildfire is a good resource for residents to stay up to date.

Winnifred Creek Wildfire (#K42042)

BC Wildfire Service has not reported any significant changes to this fire. This Evacuation Alert remains in effect and unchanged since it was issued on July 20. Please note that Provincial campgrounds and recreation sites are under the jurisdiction of the Government of British Columbia. Evacuation Alerts and Orders for those sites are issued by the Province. Those wishing to drive through or near this area are encouraged to visit DriveBC's website to check for closures before departing. 


Further information will be issued as updates are received from the BC Wildfire Service. RDNO residents are encouraged to continue to visit www.rdno.ca and the RDNO Facebook page for more information. A detailed map of all Evacuation Alerts and Orders in the area can be found at EmergencyMapBC.