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Planned ignition helps reduce southern movement of Shuswap wildfire

‘The good news is that no houses were lost and no lives were lost.’
A 10-kilometre planned ignition could be seen burning in the hills behind Scotch Creek on Thursday night, Aug. 17, 2023. (Sasha Ellenna Pellow//Facebook photo)

Though several properties were placed under evacuation order, a planned ignition conducted late Thursday helped to keep the fire from moving closer to North Shuswap communities.

In a Friday, Aug. 18 morning update on the 10,000-plus hectare Lower East Adams Lake wildfire, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said a spot fire in Meadow Creek prompted the evacuation order for several Meadow Creek Road properties in Celista, as well as an evacuation alert for properties east of the evacuation order area. BCWS said it had crews there this morning reassessing containment lines.

In his own Aug. 18 morning update, Electoral Area F director Jay Simpson said the fire lit up Meadow Creek Road and he understood a greenhouse may have been lost, “but the local fire departments, with help from local contractors and individuals, managed to save all the houses.”

Simpson said preliminary indications suggest planned ignition worked well.

“We’re still trying to get an update of what the fire looks like this morning, but concerns are going to be for Scotch Creek and east into Celista,” said Simpson, adding the Scotch Creek Bridge is being watered by a sprinkler system.

BCWS said there continues to be no organized movement south of the powerlines where the 1o-kilometre ignition occurred north of Lee Creek and Scotch Creek.

Strong overnight winds brought out-of-control fire growth at the far east end of the fire, said the BCWS. “Crews are looking at options for containment lines south of this growth this morning.”

With winds in the forecast for Friday, BCWS warned there was a chance the fire would move southward on the eastern corner of the fire.

‘The ignition area is still holding, which has lowered the threat of wildfire moving south along the straight part of the transmission line before it turns to go north,” said the BCWS.

Simpson noted there is still potential for trouble over the next few days.

“The good news is that no houses were lost and no lives were lost,” said Simpson. “The community came together and put down the fire in those areas that were needed.

“Our firefighters are tired and will be on shifts for the next few days. Please give them space to work.”

Another update was expected Friday afternoon.

Read more: Evacuation order issued for several North Shuswap properties

Read more: Evacuation orders loom in Shuswap as heavy winds could increase wildfire activity
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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