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RDNO Wildfire Update – August 20, 2021

Posted Friday, August 20, 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. Residents can sign up to receive email updates from the RDNO at www.rdno.ca/subscribe and select the Emergency Management topic.

White Rock Lake Wildfire (#K61884)

The White Rock Lake wildfire is now sized at an estimated 81,139 hectares. Crews are continuing with low-intensity hand ignitions south of Irish Creek Road/west of Westside Road to secure the edge of the containment line along the northeast perimeter. This tactic brings the fire perimeter down to pre-established guards at a lower intensity than it otherwise would naturally. Smoke in this area will be visible to surrounding communities.

Yesterday on the northeast flank south of Glenemma, crews used routine hand ignitions to secure the edge of the containment line along the northeast perimeter, south of Irish Creek Road/west of Westside Road. Heavy equipment continues to construct guard from Irish Creek, working westward, and from Cedar Creek working eastward. Heavy equipment and crews are also constructing guard between Irish Creek and McGregor Creek to hold the line closer to the fire perimeter. The northeast flank is the side of the fire that is affecting a portion of RDNO Electoral Area B.

The RDNO's current Evacuation Order is still in effect, and residents are encouraged to stay up to date with current situations through their local government’s communication channels.

There are currently 278 wildland firefighters, 88 structural protection personnel, 13 helicopters, 16 danger tree assessors/ fallers, 59 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 the BC Wildfire Service. Information for areas outside of the RDNO Electoral Area boundaries can be found with the local area authority as follows:

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

Bunting Road Wildfire (#K41561)

The Bunting Road wildfire is still mapped at 4734 ha. Fire behaviour was minimal yesterday; however, fuels have dried out over the last two days. The possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon and forecasted gusting winds might increase fire activity.

Heavy equipment is working in the north to establish an additional guard in the vicinity of Tsuius Creek, along with a machine guard in the south near the South Cascades road. 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 completed to protect structures along Mabel Lake FSR. Crews continue to work along Mable Lake Forest Service Road, mopping up to 100 feet and extinguishing hot spots as they go.

Overnight on August 18, a scan was completed for the perimeter along Mable Lake Forest Service Road. Today crews will be working on the hotspots identified in the scan. Additional plans are being developed for possible future ignitions operations.

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 27 firefighters, 12 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.