The Embleton Mountain wildfire has reached the Heffley Louis Creek Rd. in several places to the northwest of Whitecroft, but the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said this is part of its control plan and that there are crews in place to ensure it doesn’t breach the road.
In addition to 25 BCWS firefighters who are working on the fire, a 21-person crew of structural personnel assigned to the fire has been largely building a fireguard along the road, removing fuels such as low hanging branches and dead trees.
“With the current fire behaviour that we’ve been seeing, the fire is just sort of slowly creeping towards those [fire breaks]” said Shannon Street, a fire information officer with BCWS.
“Essentially, the plan is that it’ll kind of slowly work its way to those guards, and then it’ll run out of fuel essentially.”
The Embleton Mountain wildfire is still estimated at 516 hectares in size, a figure that was last updated yesterday morning.
Street said she doesn’t believe there was much of a change in size since then, and independent reports from Whitecroft say the fire has lost the intensity it showed two days ago.
“We haven’t seen a ton of new growth,” said Street. “There were minimal winds yesterday and no significant fire behavior.”
Today, heavy equipment operators are building a fire guard on the northern end of the fire.
The break is being built to the south of the McClure forest service road, which takes switchbacks up Embleton Mountain.
“The intention is to get that guard put in place before the fire creeps down to that point,” said Street, explaining that the guard is being built as a straight line.
Also, BCWS heavy equipment are continuing work on a fireguard that will link Whitecroft to the gravel pit on the paved road into Whitecroft.
Today, winds are forecast from the southwest 8-15 km/hr in the morning increasing to southwest 15-20 km/hr, gusting up to 25 km/hr in the afternoon. Street said that this “Does have the potential to push the fire a little bit, but crews have been making really good progress on those guards.”
A video of the Embleton Mountain wildfire making its way to the Heffley Louis Creek Rd. was captured by Johnnie Balfour, who lives on the 13 km mark of the Heffley Louis Creek Rd.
Balfour said that he took the video at the 2 km mark of the road, and that while the fire had hit the road in several spots it hadn’t gotten any further.
“The fire is still very active in the area and there are lots of fire crews working along the road doing fuel management and cutting containment lines,” said Balfour to SPIN.
Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) Mayor Al Raine said that the fire is not showing aggressive behaviour, with respect to the part of it that’s closest to Whitecroft.
“The fire is obviously down to the [Heffley] Louis Creek road at a couple of locations, but it’s very subdued,” he said. “It’s slowly going down towards the road. I would say it would not be difficult for the crews to manage it at the road. ”
Whitecroft is currently under an evacuation order. Sun Peaks is under an evacuation alert, meaning that residents are asked to be prepared to leave if need be. Homes that surround Heffley Lake are also subject to an evacuation alert.
To stay on top of the news, alerts and orders, please keep an eye on SPIN’s website, as well as SPMRM’s, and the TNRD’s. The public is also encouraged to download the VoyentAlert! app, a multi-purpose communication service used to send alerts to residents, businesses and visitors during critical events like fires or floods.