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‘Stay off the lake’: Fire chief warns public as Two Mile Road wildfire burns near Sicamous

Click to play video: 'Swansea Point placed on evacuation alert' Swansea Point placed on evacuation alert
WATCH: The Two Mile Road fire south of Sicamous continues to grow. It's lead officials to expand the evacuation alert area to include the community of Swansea Point south of the blaze. – Jul 22, 2021

Monstrous — that’s how a local fire chief described the Two Mile Road wildfire that’s burning near Sicamous in B.C.’s Interior.

However, Brett Ogino of the Sicamous Fire Department added that the 800-hectare blaze didn’t have any major overnight activity, even though winds gusted through the region on Wednesday.

“Our (fire) guards held overnight,” Ogino told Global News. “But we still have quite a large fire.”

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He continued, saying “it is continuing to push away from the community but it’s quite a monstrous fire at 800 hectares, and it is also trying to push south a little bit, but very slowly.”

Read more: B.C. wildfire update Thursday: Windy, changing conditions force more orders and alerts

Ogino, who called the out-of-control blaze a creeping ground fire, said crews are doing structure protection, reinforcing existing structures and building more guards.

He said the objective is to “keep it out of the Sicamous Creek area and from crossing Sicamous Creek. That opens up a whole new area of challenges for us.”

Click to play video: 'Fire forces hundreds from their homes in Sicamous' Fire forces hundreds from their homes in Sicamous
Fire forces hundreds from their homes in Sicamous – Jul 21, 2021

The fire is located around two kilometres south of Sicamous. An evacuation order is in place for the fire, along with two evacuation alerts that flank the order.

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Ogino said zero structures have been lost to date, “and I can’t say that we’re winning the wildfire side of it, but we’re winning the structure side of it.”

Read more: Evacuation order issued for part of Seymour Arm due to nearby wildfire

According to the BC Wildfire Service, 33 firefighters and two helicopters, plus personnel from the Sicamous and Swansea Fire Departments, are battling the blaze.

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The fire chief also issued a reminder for boaters to stay off nearby Mara Lake to prevent possible conflicts with aerial crews.

Read more: Edmonton troops deploying to B.C. wildfires will arrive ‘ready to go,’ defence minister says

“We’ve had some challenges,” said Ogino. “I watched a boat driving down the lake while a helicopter was trying to bucket (water).

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“That floors me that they would think that’s OK. It’s not. It’s really dangerous for them and they should not have been on the lake at all.”

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Hundreds of people evacuated from Fauquier, Edgewood area – Jul 21, 2021

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