Kamloops is a city in British Columbia, Canada, located at the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers. The main fire in the region is burning northwest of town, near Sparks Lake and Red Lake, and extending north through the Cariboo Fire Centre to Vidette, well up the Deadman River Valley. About 39,000 hectares have been burned in the Sparks Lake fire.
Within the Kamloops Fire Centre, several big fires are still blazing out of control, resulting in numerous evacuation orders and alerts affecting thousands of people who reside near the blazes. The main fire in the region is burning northwest of town, near Sparks Lake and Red Lake, and extending north through the Cariboo Fire Centre to Vidette, well up the Deadman River Valley.
News related to Wildfire in Kamloop
According to a news release published by the Skeetchestn Indian Band on Tuesday afternoon, recent activity on the Sparks Lake fire has advanced the fire deeper south, into the northeast corner of the Skeetchestn Indian Band reserve grounds, forcing “the bulk” of band members to leave.
To assist in the fight against the fire, the Skeetchestn band has assembled a specific response squad of more than 75 members. It consists of band members, band personnel, and non-band members, and it is collaborating with the BC Wildfire Service to keep the fire from spreading farther into the Deadman River Valley.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has ordered 170 houses in the area of the fire to evacuate. Another 704 homes are on evacuation alert, ready to flee if the fire changes course. The BC Wildfire Service has deployed 138 firefighters, 33 pieces of heavy equipment to build fire guards, 16 helicopters, and air tankers to fight the fire, which started on June 28 and is considered to be human-caused.
The fire has scorched only 39,000 hectares so far, a smidgeon in comparison to its historic neighbor. The Elephant Hill fire, which started near Ashcroft and Cache Creek and expanded north, burned almost 190,000 hectares just west of the Sparks Lake fire perimeter in 2017. The Allie Lake fire, which burned 2,700 hectares northeast of Vidette in May 2018, was another adjacent fire.
Many people who were displaced by the fire ended themselves at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre, where they received emergency assistance. Marshall Potts, a musician from Sparks Lake, just north of Red Lake, said he reported the fire and watched it progressively encroach on his and his neighbor’s property.” As I got closer, I saw this is a full-fledged wildfire that’s going to spread,” he told KTW.
On his Instagram feed, Potts shared videos of the raging fire. At the start of the pandemic, he and his partner hunkered down at the property and, for the first time since purchasing it in 2016, felt involved enough to bring on animals. Potts is optimistic that his cattle would be fine, but he is concerned about his 30 chickens and barn cats, who were continually startled by helicopters landing on the farm.
He stated of his hens, “I know that sounds foolish, but they aren’t likely to get off those eggs.” Potts, on the other hand, managed to escape with his two dogs, including a pregnant Saint Bernard who is set to give birth any day now. Even after watching the fire spread for days before finally leaving his land, Potts told KTW he was still in shock. He doesn’t know what will happen next.
“We have no idea what we’re going to come back to or when we’ll be allowed back,” he said. Three tiny spot fires have also erupted immediately north of the Sparks Lake fire. The BC Wildfire Service stated that it has been dumping water on the fires and that minimal growth has occurred. The McKay Creek wildfire, which has burnt nearly 25,000 hectares west of the city, is further west. The fire spans from Pavilion north to just south of Big Bar Creek, according to the most recent perimeter maps from the BC Wildfire Service, with an evacuation alert On the north side, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has issued evacuation orders.
Durand Lake, southwest of Kamloops, is also engulfed in flames. The alleged lightning-caused fire has scorched 260 hectares near Greenstone Mountain, prompting a large-scale evacuation order. Smaller, younger flames have also erupted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, although they have not spread much and are still smoldering. The Dome Hill fire, which started near Strawberry Hill on the Tk’emlps te Secwépemc reserve above Highway 5, is one of them. The fire, which began on July 4, was last estimated to be five hectares in size.
The blaze between Juniper Ridge and Valleyview has been extinguished.
Lightning struck a mountainside twice on Canada Day evening, burning a steep stretch of trees, sagebrush, and grassland. The two little fires soon merged into one large fire. The city of Kamloops had come within 15 meters of catching fire just hours before. On Friday morning, however, with the helicopters above them and the perimeter under control, he thought he would be able to see the end of it.
We’d love to hear from you the an update on wildfires in and around Kamloops in the comment section below.