IN PHOTOS: Enormous column of smoke rises from White Rock lake wildfire

Click to play video: 'An enormous column of smoke rises from the White Rock lake wildfire'
An enormous column of smoke rises from the White Rock lake wildfire
WATCH: White Rock Lake wildfire planned ignition is putting a huge column of smoke into the air – Aug 30, 2021

The White Rock Lake wildfire is creating a spectacle as it blows a massive cloud of smoke into the Okanagan sky.

Forrest Tower, a fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said Monday, Aug. 30, that area residents should expect to see the column of smoke rise from the 3,000 hectare planned ignition, though it’s likely to dissipate as the day wears on. Smoke will likely settle into the lower parts of the valley as night falls.

By mid-afternoon, BC Wildfire said the first section in the Irish Creek area burn was complete and the second section along Six Mile Creek was underway.

The ignitions will occur in three phases and are further broken down into three sections. First, a heli-torch machine is used to build heat and create a column within the burn area. This draws the main ignition up and into the column well within established control lines. Second, a Plastic Sphere Dispenser will be used to conduct the main ignition in each section to manage fire intensity and utilize terrain to draw fire into the column. Third, ground crews will ignite from control lines using drip torches to bring fire right to the guards in a controlled manner.

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Click to play video: 'An enormous column of smoke rises from the White Rock lake wildfire'
An enormous column of smoke rises from the White Rock lake wildfire

The aim of the sizeable burn, said Tower, is to get the fire under control in a way that mimics the way it would naturally progress this time of year if nature was to take its course. The difference is that natural processes could take four to five weeks.

After the initial burn, Tower said that there will be a two to three-day period of mop-up and then, in a week to 10 days, they will evaluate whether it’s time for local governments to change evacuation orders to alerts.

At this time, the evacuation Order for 1,316 properties and 850 properties on Alert in the North Westside communities within the RDCO remain in place.

To date 78 properties have been confirmed as having sustained significant damage. Those owners have been contacted. As assessment work continues it is likely that additional properties under evacuation order will have had some damage that could cause the home to be temporarily unsafe to live in until remediation work can be undertaken.

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Viewers sent their photos to Global News:

Marco Longley sent in this incredible photo from his friends Liz and John of the smoke from the White Rock Lake fire above Swan Lake. Courtesy: Marco Longley/Submitted
This view of the smoke from the White Rock Lake wildfire planned ignition was taken from Rogers Foods on Larkin Cross Road, Armstrong, BC. Courtesy: Jan Christian/Submitted
Brenda Hausersent in this photo of the White Rock Lake fire from Knox Mountain. Courtesy: Brenda Hauser/Submitted
Rodney Volk shared this image of the planned ignition around the White Rock Lake fire. Courtesy: Rodney Volk/Submitted
Suzanne Kristensen took this picture from the Marshall Field in Vernon Aug. 30 just an hour after the planned ignition started. Courtesy: Suzanne Kristensen /Suzanne Kristensen /Submitted
Andrew Mather sent in this photo from the White Rock Lake backburn north of Armstrong. Courtesy: Andrew Mather/submitted

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