Photograph By SHAWN THOMPSON

Update: Kamloops wildfire now mapped at 500 hectares

Firefighters worked overnight on what was a fast-growing wildfire east of Kamloops.

UPDATE: 11:15 a.m.

The BC Wildfire Service has 103 ground personnel battling the Shuswap road fire east of Kamloops.

Fire information officer Marla Catherall says they have three pieces of heavy equipment and four helicopters fighting the fire today, air tankers are also on standby.

The fire is still estimated at 500 hectares as of 11 a.m. Catherall says the change in size from last night is due to some fire growth over night and more accurate mapping.

Crews will be battling the elements today as strong winds are forecast for later this afternoon. With that in mind, crews are preparing for increased fire activity.

Catherall says firefighters are working on the west, east and south flanks to increase containment today.

The top of the fire or the north side is fully machine guarded.

—-

ORIGINAL: 8 a.m.

The Shuswap Road fire east of Kamloops has now been mapped at 500 hectares.

BC Wildfire Service fire information officer Marla Catherall says crews remained on site overnight and continue to fight the blaze today.

She could not yet comment on progress made overnight or fire activity this morning.

Related: Evacuation order issued, Kamloops wildfire hits 380 hectares

A Kamloops man, Jules LaRue, posted a video on social media yesterday that shows that the fire may have started on his property.

He said on Facebook that the fire was likely sparked by an insurance contractor who was cutting metal in the backyard.

“Heat and wind, and sparks…” wrote LaRue.

LaRue reported that a on-site RCMP officer told him this as he arrived home.

Catherall could not confirm the legitimacy of this claim, but did say BC Wildfire Service fire origin and cause personnel were on scene to determine the cause.

Kamloops RCMP had closed Shuswap Road from Lafarge west to the Yellowhead Highway.

An update on the fire is expected this morning.

More to come.

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