The Sparks Lake wildfire on June 30, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

The Sparks Lake wildfire on June 30, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

UPDATE: Skeetchestn Indian Band issues evacuation alert due to Sparks Lake wildfire

The fire is still estimated at 31,000 hectares, but smoke impairment is restricting the ability to properly assess the fire’s size

UPDATE: July 3, 3:55 p.m.

An evacuation order was issued by the Skeetchestn Indian Band for IR 0 and IR 1 Friday evening (July 2), due to the dangers caused by the Sparks Lake wildfire.

Residents were asked to leave the area by 9 a.m. on Saturday.

An evacuation order has been issued for 164 properties, while 585 have been placed on evacuation alert.

The Sparks Lake wildfire is still estimated at 31,000 hectares, but the fire’s information officer, Greg Jonuk, said that smoke impairment is restricting the ability to properly assess the fire’s size.

135 firefighters were on scene Saturday to combat the flames, and were joined by 31 pieces of heavy equipment and 18 helicopters.

UPDATE: July 2, 10:35 a.m.

The Sparks Lake wildfire has grown to an estimated size of 31,000 hectares, according to a Friday (July 2) BC Wildfire Service update.

There are 163 homes that remain on evacuation order, while 298 are still on evacuation alert.

Visibility has improved today, as poor visibility yesterday hampered air missions. The fire is still classified as out of control.

UPDATE: July1, 5 p.m.

A total of 163 homes north of Kamloops have been ordered evacuated due to the Sparks Lake wildfire, and another 298 are on evacuation alert.

The fire, first recorded on Monday, June 28, swelled to an estimated 20,000 hectares by Wednesday night. The BC Wildfire Service says smoke is making the size of the blaze hard to determine, but it has continued to grow through Thursday.

The BC Wildfire Service has 89 firefighters combating the blaze, with 13 helicopters and 16 pieces of heavy equipment. In total, 115 personnel are assigned to the fire, including firefighters and support crews.

“Crews working in two divisions, Division Alpha and Bravo,” stated the Wildfire Service in an update. “Both working on the same objectives in their sectors — will work to establish control lines using heavy equipment, burn out where able from established control lines and establish pump hose lays.”


ORIGINAL STORY: July 1, 9 a.m.

A 20,000-hectare wildfire north of Kamloops continues to burn out of control on Thursday morning, July 1.

The Sparks Lake fire has caused the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to order the evacuation of 136 properties in the area.

READ MORE: Footage shows homes, buildings up in flames as wildfire races through Lytton

People leaving their homes due to the order are asked to report to the Emergency Support Services sign-up at the McArthur Island Sports Centre Parking lot at 1655 Island Parkway in Kamloops.

The fire grew quickly on Wednesday due to the record high temperatures in the area. The Sparks Lake fire started the day around 4,000 hectares before swelling to an estimated 20,000 by the evening, where it remains Thursday morning.

The BC Wildfire Service has 89 firefighters combating the blaze, with 13 helicopters and 16 pieces of heavy equipment. In total, 115 personnel are assigned to the fire, including firefighters and support crews.

Crews are working to establish control lines with assistance from heavy equipment.

Black Press Media has requested an update from the BC Wildfire Service.

READ MORE: Wildfires north of Big White grow to a combined 300 hectares

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
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