Bolean Lake fire continues to prove challenging

Blaze is four kilometres southwest of Bolean Lake and five kilometres northwest of Falkland

UPDATE TUESDAY 9 P.M. – Structural Protection Units are on scene but not yet needed for the Bolean Lake blaze.

The fire, which was lightning-caused is actually made up of two fires: a 170-hectare blaze and an 80-hectare spot fire.

“It’s spotting quite significantly, so it’s not one continuous fire it’s more like a bunch of fires all at once,” said fire information officer Navi Saini during a media update Tuesday evening at the Falkland Stampede grounds.

Crews have tirelessly been battling the fire since Monday morning. Winds have proven difficult for crews and air support, as well as the steep terrain.

“We had five people working on the fire last night and they were helped by heavy machinery, so they made good progress on that fire,” said Saini, adding that the Falkland Fire Department has also been assisting.

“Resources may have to be pulled off because of safety concerns.”

Fifty firefighters actioned the blaze Tuesday and air tankers were able to get in and lay some retardant.

“The good news is that the lodge that is in the area is not threatened at this time.”

The 24 evacuation alerts remain in effect as well as the evacuation order for the Bolean Lake Lodge.

“There’s obviously some anxiety in the community,” said Ryan Nitchie, information officer for the Shuswap Emergency Program.

“Many of the residents who are on the evacuation alert have been moving horses and cattle just as a precautionary measure.”

Falkland Fire Department deputy fire chief Neil Bourgh says firefighters have been speaking with residents and trying to keep them informed.

“Some people are a little scared,” said Bourgh.

For a video update visit the Vernon Morning Star Facebook page

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UPDATE 2:05 P.M. – More details are known about the scope of the Bolean Lake fire near Falkland.

While the B.C. Wildfire Service had indicated the fire was 300 hectares in size, the size was being reported as 230 hectares Tuesday afternoon.

It is still zero per cent contained and the fire is spotting on top of the plateau.

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UPDATE 8:20 A.M. –

Early assessment of the Bolean Lake wildfire reports rank one and two activity with some rank three on the perimeter.

The north east flank is burning slash and juvenile forest, according to the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District.

“The fire moved very slowly down the hill toward Chase-Falkland Road overnight,” states the CSRD.

“The Wildfire Management Branch advises that heavy equipment is assisting and helicopter reconnaissance will be completed this morning.”

 

 

 

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UPDATE 8 A.M. TUESDAY –  The B.C. Wildfire Service is hoping to get a better sense of the Bolean Lake wildfire.

The fire was about 300 hectares in size Monday night and it’s not known if the blaze grew overnight.

“We will have crews out their first thing this morning,” said Kesley Winters, a fire information officer.

The evacuation order remains for the Bolean Lake Lodge while  there is still an evacuation order for the Chase-Falkland Road north of Falkland to the Aurthur Creek Forest Service Road and east to Bolean Lake.

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UPDATE 9:10 P.M. – Details have been provided to those individuals forced to evacuate the Bolean Lake Lodge and immediately around Bolean Lake because of a wildfire.

If you require emergency support services, report to the Highland Motel, 2968 Adelphi Rd., Falkland. If you need transportation assistance from the area, call  the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District at 250-833-3350.

Beyond the evacuation order for the lodge, an evacuation alert covers the Chase-Falkland Road north of Falkland to the Aurthur Creek Forest Service Road and east to Bolean Lake.

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UPDATE 9 P.M. – The B.C. Wildfire Service reports that winds gusting in excess of 50 to 60 kilometres per hour have led to rapid and significant fire growth in the Bolean Lake fire.

Five firefighters, two airtankers, and two helicopters are currently assigned to this incident.

“Due to the strong winds in the area, airtankers and helicopters are currently unable to action the fire for safety reasons,” states the Wildfire Service.

“A 20-person sustained action crew and two additional medium helicopters have been requested for this incident as well.”

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District for 24 properties and an evacuation order has also been issued for the Bolean Lake Lodge.

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UPDATE 8:12 P.M . – A Falkland area resort has been told to evcuate.

The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District has issued an evacuation order to the Bolean Lake Lodge because of 300-hectare fire burning four kilometres southwest of Bolean Lake and five kilometres northwest of Falkland.

“The primary concern is the Bolean Lake Lodge,” said Ryan Nitchie, with CSRD.

There were five people at the lodge and all are accounted for.

An evacuation alert has been issued for a portion of the Chase-Falkland Road.

The alert doesn’t mean residents have to leave the area immediately.

“They must be prepared to go at a moment’s notice if need be,” said Nitchie.

The alert covers the Chase-Falkland Road north of Falkland to the Aurthur Creek Forest Service Road and east to Bolean Lake.

A total of 24 properties are impacted by the fire.

For further information, visit the Shuswap Emergency Program at sepadvisory.ca

It’s believed the fire is lightning caused.

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UPDATE: The B.C. Wildfire Service says that as of 6:20 p.m., a fire five kilometres northwest of Falkland and four kilometres southwest of Bolean Lake is zero per cent contained.

Four firefighters and one helicopter are on scene.

“Due to strong winds, airtankers are not able to action the fire at this time,” states the ministry.

The cause of this fire is currently under investigation, but it is believed to be lightning-caused.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, an evacuation alert has been recommended to the Columbia- Shuswap Regional District.

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A wildfire in the Falkland area is generating a quick response from authorities.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is responding to a fire near Blair Main Road Monday afternoon and is estimated at six hectares in size.

“There are currently four firefighters and a helicopter on site, and air tankers are completing action,” said Navi Saini, with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

“The cause of this fire is under investigation.”