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Wildfire structure protection units being moved from Shuswap to Osoyoos, Kamloops

Lower East Adams Lake remains stable with no significant growth
The Lower Adams Lake East wildfire burns in the mountains above lakeshore properties currently under an evacuation alert. (CSRD photo)

The Lower East Adams Lake wildfire was holding steady as of Monday, July 31.

The fire was downsized last week from a previous 2,000-hectare estimate to a more accurate 1,821.

Despite increased fire activity over the weekend, BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) reported the wildfire showed no significant growth towards the populated areas near the southern flank, and fire behaviour continued to be reduced. Subsequently, BCWS made the decision to move its Structure Protection Units positioned at properties south of the Adams Lake East blaze to Osoyoos and the Ross Moore Lake wildfire near Kamloops.

“BC Wildfire made the decision in consultation with their Fire Behaviour Specialists to assess weather and fire data,” reads a July 31 media release issued by the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD). “It has been determined the risk to structures in the Lower East Adams Lake area is reduced. Under current and forecasted conditions for the next five to seven days, the risk of the fire moving southward toward the community is low.”

The BCWS equipment is being immediately redirected to areas like Osoyoos, where the fire threat to public safety and property is more imminent, said SEP and the CSRD, noting the BCWS’s structure protection and mass water delivery systems could be rapidly redeployed in the Lower East Adams Lake communities should the fire risk increase.

Meanwhile, SEP has additional Structure Protection Units that can be set up in the area as needed.

On Sunday, the BCWS reported a safety concern to the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) – a fixed-wing aircraft had been flying in the area where helicopters were bucketing the Lower East Adams Lake fire.

SEP explained a Notice to Air Missions, also known as NOTAMs, was in effect for the area. This restricts the airspace in and around forest fires. Regulations also apply to drone operators.

“Please do not hamper the efforts of firefighters by entering this airspace,” said SEP.

Despite the hot and dry conditions, southerly winds continue to push the fire away from the community, SEP said Monday. The fire has backed down the hill slightly but has not moved more than 100 metres per day, and that may be an overestimate for some recent days.

A BCWS Incident Management Team was working with Interfor to construct guards on the northwest to northeast flanks.

An evacuation alert remained in effect for properties south of the fire.

The Shuswap Emergency Program remains activated at a level two status, ready to respond to any change in conditions.

Read more: Mass water delivery system being set up to protect Shuswap properties near wildfire

Read more: Shuswap River fire near Enderby grows


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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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