A helicopter prepares to dump water on a wildfire burning in the hills east of Oyama Wednesday. The blaze is now fully contained and in mop-up stages.

A helicopter prepares to dump water on a wildfire burning in the hills east of Oyama Wednesday. The blaze is now fully contained and in mop-up stages.

Wildfire draws quick response

Wildfire near Oyama doused, clusters of fires still burning near Mabel and Sugar lakes

Crews didn’t waste any time tackling a wildfire near Oyama Wednesday.

B.C. Forest Service personnel began converging on a site seven kilometres east of the community as soon as reports of a lightning-caused fire began coming in at about 5 a.m.

“It was burning quite aggressively,” said Michaela Swan, an information officer.

“It was burning in slash and that was contributing to the smoke people are seeing.”

The primary focus was to protect the forest resource in the area.

“There was no immediate threat to structures in the area,” said Swan.

Air tankers dropped retardant to keep the flames from spreading while ground crews created guards.

By 4 p.m. Wednesday, the nine-hectare blaze was 100 per cent contained although five firefighters remained there overnight.

“We are continuing with aggressive mop-up,” said Swan Thursday.

On scene Thursday were 10 Forest Service staff, 30 contractors, five pieces of ground equipment and one helicopter.

Crews are also working on 10 smaller fires east of Mabel Lake and northeast of Sugar Lake.

“There are a number of small fires in that area – the largest being 1.5 hectares in size,” said Kevin Skrepnek, Kamloops Fire Centre information officer, adding that they are believed to be a result of Tuesday’s lightning.

The largest fire, in the Cottonwood Creek area, is in a remote location, and is not threatening any of the cabins along Mabel Lake.