A perimeter map of the Nohomin Creek wildfire as of July 29. The Village of Lytton is at bottom right. (Photo credit: BCWS)

A perimeter map of the Nohomin Creek wildfire as of July 29. The Village of Lytton is at bottom right. (Photo credit: BCWS)

No significant recent growth spotted on Nohomin Creek wildfire

Blaze northwest of Lytton now estimated at 3,162 hectares

The Nohomin Creek wildfire, which started on July 14, continues to burn northwest of Lytton, but despite the continuing hot and dry conditions there has been no significant recent growth.

As of Aug. 2, the fire was estimated at 3,162 hectares. There continues to be slow growth in high elevation areas north of the Stein River and west into the Stein Valley upslope of the Stein River.

The fire in this area is burning on steep cliffs and in rocky terrain where fuels are sparse and the fire growth is driven by wind and gravity.

There is little-to-no fire activity on the east flank of the fire. An infrared aerial scan of the east flank on July 30 identified four hotspots, and crews were sent in to identify and extinguish them.

In the north division, crews are continuing to establish fuel-free lines and install a sprinkler system for reinforcement. In the south division, crews are patrolling and mopping up along the fire’s perimeter, and continuing to establish containment lines.

The Structure Protection branch is monitoring the sprinkler systems that have been set up along the Stein Valley walking path. These sprinklers are being used to increase fuel moisture content and relative humidity in the valley bottom, to protect park infrastructure and cultural values.

The hot weather and steep terrain have been a challenge for crews, who are taking more frequent breaks to prevent heat exhaustion. The Lytton Ferry is now back in service, helping crews move back and forth to rotate shifts more quickly.

On July 29, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District downgraded its Evacuation Order for approximately 24 properties west of the Fraser River along Spencer Road to an Evacuation Alert.

An Evacuation Alert remains in place for approximately 31 properties north of Lytton along Highway 12, west of the Fraser River, and north of the Stein River. To see maps of the affected areas, go to www.tnrd.ca.

Lytton First Nation also has Evacuation Orders and Alerts in place. For more information, go to https://lfn.band/.

BC Hydro crews have rebuilt and re-energized a section of power line that was lost to the fire, which burned down 60 power poles; damaged power lines, three transformer banks, and two single transformers; and interrupted power service to 112 customers in the area. BC Hydro was able to reconfigure the system and restore power to 39 customers the day the fire started, and then to an additional 39 customers on July 24.

At the height of the repair efforts, about 30 BC Hydro personnel were working on rebuilding the line at any one time, including crews from Lillooet, Ashcroft, Kamloops, Vernon, and Salmon Arm.

After receiving clearance from the BC Wildfire Service, BC Hydro’s vegetation management experts were required to assess the area that was damaged by the wildfire and identify and remove dangerous trees before construction activities could begin.

Mobilizing equipment and material to the site proved to be challenging due to road access issues, and helicopter support was required to bring power poles to the site.

Restoration efforts were also complicated by the recent heat wave, as extra measures were required to protect the health and safety of crews working outside.

Electricity service has now been restored to all customers, except in cases where structures were lost or significantly damaged. BC Hydro will continue to work with those customers and reconnect service when the customers are ready.

The Nohomin Creek fire is still classed as Out of Control. It is suspected to have been human-caused, but the exact cause remains under investigation.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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