Smoke may continue to be seen from the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Contributed)

Smoke may continue to be seen from the White Rock Lake wildfire. (Contributed)

White Rock Lake wildfire no longer ‘under control’

Fire reclassified as ‘held’ while it continues to burn above Banks Creek area

The White Rock Lake wildfire is once again classified as held rather than under control as it continues to burn toward control lines in some areas.

Severe drought conditions throughout the 83,342 hectares affected between Kamloops and Vernon continue to fuel the fire as it burns deep underground.

The lightning-caused fire is still putting up smoke above the Banks Creek Drainage and it will continue to burn freely until it reaches control lines where firefighters can extinguish the fire’s edge.

“As a result, although much of the fire has already received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread, as of Sept. 10, the White Rock Lake wildfire has been reclassified back to being held,” BC Wildfire Services said in an update.

Smoke is expected over the next four to six weeks as stumps and root systems within the affected area continue to burn. They will likely burn into winter.

While smoke is visible, there is no threat of further spread and wildfire management staff continue to patrol and monitor the fire.

An area restriction is still in effect and no hunting is permitted within the area.

“There are extreme dangers within the wildfire perimeter like ash pits, falling trees, falling rocks, unstable slopes, burnt over roads, etc. Conservation officers are regularly patrolling the area restriction, and fines will be given out to anyone found accessing the area,” the provincial agency said.

Hot spots continue to be identified by thermal imaging and firefighters are putting them out within 100 feet of the fire perimeter.

Crews continue to identify and action hot spots near homes in the Irish Creek area and gear from the nearby fire guard is being collected.

Eighty-nine wildland firefighters are assigned to the fire with help from three helicopters, four danger tree fallers and support staff.

READ MORE: Spot-sized fire near Silver Star doused

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B.C. Wildfires 2021