Firefighters prevent out-of-control wildfire from growing near Lytton, B.C., as nearly 100 evacuated
Fire crews tackling a wildfire threatening Lytton, B.C., say the out-of-control fire has been prevented from growing since the previous day.
The Nohomin Creek fire just 1.7 kilometres northwest of a village all but destroyed in a fire a year ago has burned at least six residences over two days, and officials said possibly upwards of nine homes.
The number of registered evacuees rose Saturday to 95 people, authorities in nearby Lillooet, B.C. said — up from 80 the previous day.
But the fire's size remained "stable" at 15 square kilometres Saturday afternoon, despite working on steep, "difficult to access" terrain, said officials with B.C.'s Wildfire Service around 4 p.m.
That is an area roughly the size of Smithers, B.C. — or four times larger than Vancouver's Stanley Park.
"No major growth has been observed," the wildfire service said in a tweet after 4 p.m. Saturday. "Ground crews and aerials resources are working on the south, east and north flanks of the fire."
Earlier in the day, fire information officer Nicole Bonnett said dozens of firefighters, including from the Lytton First Nation, are tackling the fire with the assistance of sprinkler systems and air crews.
"There was a very small amount of rain, but it didn't do anything to assist the firefighters," said Lytton First Nation Deputy Chief John Haugen on Saturday afternoon. "We're just hoping there's no extreme wind activity."
Haugen said up to 10 structures had been torched by the fire, including an empty cabin overnight on Saturday.
"You have a mixed bag of emotions," he said. "You have people that are doing all they can to help people, and then you have people that are not able to return home."
In an interview, Bonnett described the blaze as "kind of low to the ground, smouldering ... which is really good to see."
She said that crews would be watching for wind activity, as well as the forecast for rain, though she noted that if the rain were minimal, it wouldn't make much of an impact on current fire activity.
The cause of the fire, which sparked at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, remains unknown.
Lytton First Nation has issued evacuation orders for multiple reserves as a result of the fire. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has also issued an evacuation order for one part of Electoral Area I.
So far, since the official wildfire season began in April, more than 100 square kilometres of B.C. have burned, according to the province. That's a larger surface area than the city of Vernon, B.C.