Two of the largest fires burning in the region have been classed as “being held” as of Aug. 26, and have had all remaining evacuation alerts rescinded to all clear, but in a departure from usual practice will continue to be listed on the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) “Wildfires of Note” page for the time being.
The Tremont Creek wildfire, which was first reported on July 12, is still estimated at 63,523 hectares, while the Sparks Lake wildfire — first reported on June 28 — is estimated at 89,626 hectares. Both are now described as “being held”, which means that “suppression has been sufficient to ensure the blaze is not likely to spread beyond its boundaries under current and forecasted conditions.”
Normally, once fires are no longer burning out of control, they are removed from the “Wildfires of Note” page. In the case of both fires, however, BCWS has said that since they affected many people over a long period of time, they will continue to list them on the page for now.
All evacuation alerts that were still in place for both the Tremont Creek and Sparks Lake wildfires have been rescinded to all clear as of Aug. 31.
The Lytton Creek fire, which began on June 30, is now listed as “active” and is estimated at 83,740.5 hectares. There are still some evacuation orders in place for the west side of the fire, but no orders are currently in place for the eastern side of the fire in the area of Spences Bridge. Several evacuation alerts remain in place.
For a map of all current evacuation orders and alerts associated with fires in the region, go to the TNRD dashboard at https://bit.ly/3dcIk0L. To more information about specific fires, go to the BC Wildfire Service website at https://bit.ly/3juy3QN.
After major damage to infrastructure, communications have been restored in Spences Bridge and along the Highway 8 corridor.
Highway 12 between Lytton and Lillooet, and Highway 8 between Spences Bridge and Merritt, have both reopened to traffic, and all highways in and around Logan Lake are open.
There are currently (as of Aug. 31) 16 wildfires of note burning in the province, 11 of them in the Kamloops Fire Centre region, and 225 wildfires burning in the province. Since April 1 there have been 1,560 wildfires in B.C., which have burned a total of 865,760 hectares, making this the province’s third-worst fire season on record. There are 70 active fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre; of the other fire centres, there are 26 in the Cariboo, 48 in Prince George, 55 in the Southeast, 20 in Coastal, and five in the Northwest.
As of Aug. 27, the Cariboo Fire Centre (which includes Clinton) is once again allowing campfires; a move which provoked a good deal of opposition from people concerned that it was too soon to lift the ban, given this year’s fire season.
The complaints from the public prompted the Cariboo Fire Centre to issue a press release stating it is aware of public concern regarding the rescinding of the campfire prohibition. “The decision to implement or rescind a fire prohibition is not made lightly and multiple factors are taken into consideration,” noted a news release issued Aug. 26.
The CFC noted that many of the active wildfires within the Cariboo Fire Centre are now classified as “being held” or “under control” and are exhibiting significantly reduced fire activity.
No open burning of any kind — including campfires — is currently allowed within the Kamloops Fire Centre.