The Nohomin Creek wildfire will continue burning in the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park near Lytton until it is naturally extinguished. (Photo credit: Facebook)

The Nohomin Creek wildfire will continue burning in the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park near Lytton until it is naturally extinguished. (Photo credit: Facebook)

Nohomin Creek fire will be allowed to burn in Stein Valley Park

Fire will remain out of control within the park until it is extinguished naturally

The Nohomin Creek fire northwest of Lytton is still burning out of control, but is no longer considered a wildfire of note, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) service said on Aug. 10.

The fire was discovered on July 14, and as of Aug. 10 was estimated at 3,745 hectares. It is suspected to have been human-caused; the exact cause is now under investigation.

The fire’s south, northeast, and east flanks remain stable with no active fire behaviour. There will continue to be active fire behaviour in the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park, where the fire is burning on steep cliffs and in rocky terrain that ground crews cannot access.

This portion of the Nohomin Creek fire will remain an out of control wildfire until it is naturally extinguished, with Lytton First Nation — which co-manages fire management within the park’s boundaries with BC Parks — regularly monitoring its growth. The fire will continue to produce smoke which could be visible from surrounding communities, and there will be active fire within the park’s boundaries.

Based on long-term fire behaviour modelling, there is no present or predicted threat to any communities. The BC Wildfire Service will support the fire management strategy by organizing ground crews and aerial support.

Lytton First Nation and BC Parks work in partnership to protect the ecological and cultural significance of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park and the Stein River Valley.

BC Parks, LFN, and BCWS all acknowledge that fire is a natural ecological process necessary to maintain a healthy forest and a diversity of plant and animal life. A co-developed Fire Management Plan for the park outlines the valley bottom, the walking trail, and the watershed as areas where fire suppression efforts may be permitted, and these have successfully been carried out. The remainder of the park will be allowed to have naturally burning wildfire.

Over the last three weeks, LFN, BCWS, and contract firefighters have worked to ensure that the fire’s eastern flank is suppressed and hotspots extinguished around structures. In addition, wildfire suppression equipment and gear caches have been installed on structures and cultural values along the walking trail in advance of any fire activity being observed in lower elevations north along the Stein River.

Lytton First Nation will closely monitor the wildfire to ensure it does not threaten further structures or cultural values.

A long-term fire behaviour analysis, which identifies areas where wildfire growth would require suppression, has been put in place.

In addition to the park being culturally significant, it also serves as the breadbasket of Lytton First Nation, which acknowledges and respects the water that flows from the peaks to the valley. This water serves as the community watershed, providing hydration and nourishment to a large portion of the community on the east and west side of the Fraser River.

Lytton First Nation is dedicated to long-term post-wildfire mitigation efforts in partnership with other stakeholders.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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