A large wildfire burning near Lytton, B.C., is smaller than was previously believed, but still remains a threat amid a new heat wave.
The BC Wildfire Service says new mapping has found the Nohomin Creek fire, burning about 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton, is just under 2,200 hectares in size.
The fire, which remains classified as ‘out of control,’ had previously been estimated as more than 2,223 hectares in size.
“A warming and drying trend will continue to bring hot and dry conditions this week which could cause an increase in fire behavior,” the wildfire service said in a Monday morning update.
Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for much of the province, including the Fraser Canyon area, due to a ridge of high pressure expected to stay in place for about a week.
In a Monday update, the wildfire service said new infrared scans were helping crews mop up hot spots on the fire’s eastern flank.
The wildfire service said crews have made progress on containing the fire’s north and south flanks, despite steep and difficult terrain and challenging temperatures.
But the fire is still growing on its west flank, on the north side of the Stein River, in the area of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park, which remains closed.
The wildfire service said crews worked Sunday to extend sprinkler lines into the Stein Valley to protect provincial park infrastructure and cultural sites, while an attack crew was ready to tackle any spotting on the south side of the river.
The Lytton Ferry has resumed service, the wildfire service said, which has also made transporting crew and equipment to the fire lines easier.
Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect from both the Thompson Nicola Regional District and the Lytton First Nation.
At least 100 people have been forced from their homes, and the Lytton First Nation says at least six properties have been destroyed on the west side of the Fraser River.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.