Boaters interfere with Shuswap Lake firefighting efforts; 43 properties on evacuation alert near Princeton
'Please stay away from active wildfire sites on the ground, and on the water,' B.C. Wildfire Service tweets
The B.C. Wildfire Service says boaters on Shuswap Lake are interfering with efforts to control a wildfire near Sicamous.
In a series of tweets, the service says firefighting aircraft have not been able to carry out operations due to boaters near the site of the blaze.
"This is dangerous, both to the public and to our personnel, and interferes with critical firefighting operations," the service said. "Please stay away from active wildfire sites on the ground, and on the water."
The wildfire is estimated to be approximately one hectare in size, and is located 8.5 kilometres north of Sicamous near Marble Point. No structures are under threat as a result.
Meanwhile, evacuation alerts remain in effect for 43 properties north of Princeton, B.C. due to the Dry Lake Wildfire.
All of the properties under alert are located along Highway 5A between McCaffrey Lake, MacKenzie Lake, Dry Lake, Round Lake and Allison Lake Provincial Park, according to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Response Centre.
"An evacuation alert has been issued to prepare residents to evacuate their premises or property in the event an evacuation order is issued," the centre said in a release.
"Property owners will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to an evacuation order. However, residents may receive limited notice due to changing conditions."
The Dry Lake wildfire (K60864), in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Merritt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Merritt</a> Fire Zone is estimated at 22 hectares in size and is located 24 kilometres northwest of Princeton. 29 personnel are receiving support from aerial resources and 11 pieces of heavy equipment. No structures are threatened at this time. <a href="https://t.co/pMBvGb4Iph">pic.twitter.com/pMBvGb4Iph</a>—@BCGovFireInfo
The Dry Lake Wildfire is about 22 hectares in size, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service. The cause of the fire is suspected to be lightning.
A full list of affected properties can be found here.
Cool weather helping to contain blaze
Sean Vaisler, who manages emergency services for the Okanagan-Silkameen Regional District, said cool weather was aiding fire crews in containing the blaze, with temperatures as low as 4 C in the morning.
"B.C. Wildfire is hitting it extremely hard at the moment, so they are successfully gaining ground," he told CBC Tuesday morning.
"We're still advising homeowners in that area that are under alert to prepare for evacuation, however, with the good weather that's happening in that region ... we don't anticipate any further upgrades [to the alerts] if the weather continues to be positive."
Vaisler said B.C. Wildfire has helicopters, heavy machinery and ground crews on site, with an update expected Tuesday afternoon.
He also encouraged anyone under the evacuation alert to pre-register for emergency support services online.
As of early Tuesday, there are 41 active wildfires around B.C., with more than half of them located in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centre regions.
With files from Tom Popyk