British Columbia

Evacuation alert lifted as crews work to control wildfire near Lytton

Officials have lifted an evacuation alert affecting families south of Lytton, B.C., as crews gain more control over a wildfire in of the Fraser Canyon.

Cooler weather Saturday helped crews make progress

An area burned by wildfire is seen near Lytton, B.C. The B.C. Wildfire Service said its crews made good progress on the fire through the weekend. (B.C. Wildfire Service/Twitter)

Officials have lifted an evacuation alert affecting residents south of Lytton, B.C., as crews gain more control over a wildfire in the Fraser Canyon.

The alert was rescinded on Monday, according to a representative from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. The B.C. Wildfire Service have been fighting a fire in the George Road area since Thursday, but got a better handle on the fire on Sunday.

"We made really good progress over the weekend," said fire information officer Madison Smith. "There is a little bit of smoke in Lytton this morning but that is a reminder it's still an active wildfire."

People living in 10 properties had been ready to leave their homes on short notice since the notice was issued Thursday. Eight of the affected homes were located in the Kitzowit 20 Indian Reserve of the Lytton First Nation.

The wildfire in the Kitzowit 20 Indian Reserve of the Lytton First Nation triggered an evacuation alert for 10 properties in the area Thursday. (Cynthia Phillips)

Acting chief John Haugen said there is relief in the community Monday.

"The fire has calmed down quite a bit. We had rain Saturday night, which helped relieve some of the tension," said Haugen. "There was a lot of anticipation and nervousness."

"[The fire] did climb quite a ways up the hill," he added.

The fire grew from 0.8 square kilometres on Thursday to an estimated 2.5 square kilometres by Saturday morning. The location of the fire made it tricky for crews to reach the flames, but air support tackled the most challenging areas.

"It is burning in very steep and rocky terrain, so the lower half of the fire is where our crews are fighting and then the helicopters are supporting the crews on the upper side of the fire," said Smith.

Smith said the service believes the fire was caused by a person or people. She said no buildings had been lost in the fire.

Lytton is one of the hottest places in the country and often witnesses wildfires around this time of the year. Weather across B.C. this week is expected to be unseasonally hot and dry, but Smith said crews feel they have a good handle on the fire. 

"[The heat wave] could create a little bit of action within the fire perimeter we have, but we are fully resourced on this fire and we're confident that with the resources we have, we should keep everything under control," said Smith.

With files from Yvette Brend and CBC Daybreak Kamloops