Structural Protection Unit mobilized in Whitecroft area

A photo of the Embleton Mountain wildfire burning this morning at around 7:40 a.m. Photo by Marj Knive.

Updated Sunday, July 11 at 12:30 p.m.: The Embleton Mountain wildfire has grown to 250 hectares in size and is categorized as out of control by the BC Wildfire Service. There are currently 24 BC Wildfire Service firefighters on site, and three helicopters are attacking the fire with water. Personnel with Sun Peaks Fire Rescue continue to assist the BC Wildfire Service on this fire.

It was a tense night for Whitecroft and surrounding area residents, as the Embleton Mountain wildfire continues to threaten the community. 

A video of the fire taken this morning and shared on the Sun Peaks Survivors Facebook page shows the fire taking up a sizable chunk of the west side of the Heffley Louis Creek valley, above the Heffley Louis Creek Rd. 

Video from July 11. Submitted by James Kim.

An additional video viewed by SPIN clarifies the area where the Embleton Mountain wildfire is burning is to the northwest of Whitecroft proper. There are several rural properties on the stretch of Heffley Louis Creek Rd. directly below.

A BC Wildfire Service’s Structural Protection Unit is currently on site. The unit is dedicated to protecting structures such as homes. 

Firefighters with Sun Peaks Fire Rescue were also on site last night, monitoring the fire and laying out structural protection equipment. 

In an interview this morning, a spokesperson for the BC Wildfire Service said the agency has not been able to ascertain an up-to-date estimation of the size of the fire since it is so smoky in the area. 

The spokesperson said that the last estimation of the fire’s size was 143 hectares and that that was taken last night. 

The BC Wildfire Service had crews fighting the fire all of last night. Those crews are about to be swapped out with day crews, according to the spokesperson. 

The spokesperson added that more air crews, in addition to the helicopters already there, will be sent today. 

As previously written in SPIN, Whitecroft and parts of the Heffley Louis Creek Valley are under an evacuation order, meaning residents of homes covered by the order must leave immediately. 

This evacuation order covers 132 properties. 

Meanwhile, residents of homes surrounding Heffley Lake must be ready to leave immediately. They are subject to an evacuation alert, meaning they must be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. You can read more about their evacuation alert here. 

The Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was launched yesterday and is currently monitoring the Embleton Mountain fire.

The EOC is asking the public not to travel to Sun Peaks unless they are permanent residents.  

Sun Peaks Mountain Resort LLP (SPR) continues to be operational today for guests who are already in the community. The weekly Sunday market has been cancelled. 

A post on SPR asked the public to note the travel advisory that is in place. 

“While there is no current issue with either the road or the resort itself, officials are controlling access up to Sun Peaks in order to limit traffic as the wildfire is being managed,” it reads.

“This may impact day visitors. There are no changes for guests already in the resort at this time.

“If you require assistance with your mountain tickets, please contact Guest Services. If you require assistance with your overnight stay, please contact your accommodation provider directly.

“For wildfire updates and alerts, please visit the Thompson-Nicola Regional District website.

“For road and travel updates, please visit the Drive BC website.”

For up-to-date wildfire alerts and orders, you can check the TNRD’s website or 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.

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