Fire camp setup underway in B.C.’s Boston Bar as Kookipi Creek wildfire grows

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfires: Fraser Canyon evacuees living with uncertainty'
B.C. wildfires: Fraser Canyon evacuees living with uncertainty
The Kookipi Creek Wildfire exploded this weekend, threatening communities in the Fraser Canyon. Evacuees are now living with the uncertainty over when they'll be able to return, but as Grace Ke reports, many are being helped by the kindness of strangers. – Aug 20, 2023

The BC Wildfire Service is setting up a fire camp in Boston Bar as it continues to fight the Kookipi Creek wildfire, which has grown to more than 14,425 hectares in size.

The blaze south of Lytton continues to require significant resources, including 85 firefighters, seven helicopters, 12 pieces of heavy equipment and 26 structure protection personnel.

An incident management team has already been set up in Hope to tackle the fire.

Click to play video: 'B.C. wildfires: Kookipi Creek wildfire burning on both sides of Hwy.1'
B.C. wildfires: Kookipi Creek wildfire burning on both sides of Hwy.1

As of Wednesday, Highway 1 remained closed between Boston Bar and Lytton due to safety hazards along the route, including danger trees, rock fall, downed hydro lines and other debris.

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“Highway 1 is a major artery, and we recognize that the closure has had significant impacts on movement throughout the region,” the BC Wildfire Service posted in an update to its Facebook page.

“The closure was not implemented lightly, and it is critical that the public adheres to this and allow first responders to focus on wildfire suppression safely and effectively, without interference.”

Click to play video: 'Historic Nahatlatch Lookout tower burns near in B.C. wildfire'
Historic Nahatlatch Lookout tower burns near in B.C. wildfire

In a provincial update on Wednesday, Forests Minister Bruce Ralston said the rain that some parts of B.C. saw this week did not reach the Fraser Canyon to stifle the Kookipi Creek fire.

“Crews continue to work hard to protect vital infrastructure including transmission lines, railways on Highway 1 along with working to limit growth on the south and eastern portion’s in the fire,” he said.

“Despite the fact that wildfires dominated much of our attention in the last week, we are still experiencing a serious drought, so much of the landscape is still very, very dry.”

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Click to play video: 'Emergency management minister repeats call to heed evacuation orders'
Emergency management minister repeats call to heed evacuation orders

The Fraser Canyon north including Lillooet, and south including Lytton, continues to be under an air quality alert issued daily by Environment Canada.

Fraser Valley Regional District representatives went door-knocking Wednesday, distributing face masks and other resource information, according to an update on the district’s website.

“The FVRD continues to fund additional security to support the RCMP with enhanced monitoring of properties in the evacuation zone,” it wrote.

“There are currently no changes to the existing Evacuation Orders and Alerts.”

As it stands, alerts or evacuations for the Kookipi Creek wildfire have been issued by the Fraser Valley Regional District, the Lytton First Nation, the Skuppah Indian Band, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, the Village of Lytton, the Boothroyd Indian Band, the Kanaka Bar Indian Band and the Siska Indian Band.


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