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UPDATE: Sparks Lake wildfire 'under control' – one step above being fully extinguished

(UPDATE: Sept. 5 @ 6 pm) – The Sparks Lake wildfire has been classified as under control.

According to BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), when a fire is under control it “has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of the fire.”

The cause of BC’s largest wildfire continues to be under investigation.

Thirty four firefighters and three pieces of heavy equipment remain on site.

BCWS says that “hotspots continue to pop up in the later afternoon during the heat of the day."

A remote camera will be installed today to monitor these areas with larger hotspots.

The BCWS updated the area restriction on Wednesday, Sept. 1 to clarify land use restrictions.

The area restriction remains in effect and will be active until Oct. 15 or until it is rescinded.

BCWS finished today’s update by pointing out that nearby properties and communities may see smoke from within the fire’s perimeter over the coming weeks.

“Smoke appearing from within the fire perimeter and burned material is common; however, smoke that rises from green, unburned fuel that is near or from outside a fire's perimeter should be reported.”


(UPDATE: Aug. 26 @ 10:20 am) - The 89,626-hectare Sparks Lake wildfire is now "being held," the BC Wildfire Service says.

The exciting news comes two days short of two months after the fire sparked just north of Kamloops Lake.

It's been the biggest wildfire in BC for weeks.

<who>Photo Credit: BCWS</who>The Sparks Lake wildfire's perimeter just northwest of Kamloops.

The new status reflects the fact that, with the resources currently committed to this fire, sufficient suppression action has been taken that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing or predetermined boundaries under the prevailing and forecasted conditions.

"Crews have made excellent progress on the northwest flank of this fire and are nearly complete with demobilization of structure protection gear," explained the BCWS.

"Once resources are consolidated on the northeast flank, crews will still be assigned to this fire to expedite the remaining work; however, opportunities to take a modified response strategy will be explored."

With the change in fire status, the BCWS has made recommendations to various local jurisdictions to downgrade or remove evacuation orders and alerts in accordance with the reduced risk.

These conversations are ongoing and the orders and alerts remain in place for now, which you can learn more about through the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Chief and Council of the Skeetchestn Indian Band.

At this time, 95 firefighters, 42 support personnel, 10 pieces of heavy equipment and one helicopter are assigned to this fire, although more air support is available through the complex if needed.

The fire is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation.


(UPDATE: Aug. 24 @ 10:40 am) – Today, BCWS is estimating the Sparks Lake wildfire at 89,626 hectares.

The agency reported around 10mm of rain with snow in higher elevations over the weekend.

There are 72 firefighters, 45 support staff, 43 structural protection personnel, 16 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters on site.

On Monday, Aug. 23 the Thompson-Nicola Regional District downgraded an evacuation alert for 11 properties in electoral area “O”, they are now all clear.

<who> Photo Credit: Thompson-Nicola Regional District

Yesterday, one more property in electoral area “E” was downgraded to all clear.

The TNRD notes that the following properties remain on evacuation order:

  • 3050 Eagan-Bonaparte Lake FSR
  • 3515 Eagan-Bonaparte Lake FSR
  • 4240 Eagan-Bonaparte Lake FSR
  • 4244 Eagan-Bonaparte Lake FSR
  • 4248 Eagan-Bonaparte Lake FSR
  • 9221 Clinton-Upper Loon Lake FSR
  • 9593 Clinton-Upper Loon Lake FSR

At this time, there have been no other changes to evacuation orders or alerts issued by the TNRD.

<who> Photo Credit: Thompson-Nicola Regional District

In the Vidette Lake and Tuleric Lake areas crews will work to extinguish hotspots they find in patrolling operations.

“Crews will use direct attack on the west line and continue to strengthen the guard to tie into the guard near Vidette Lake and continue to strengthen the guard south of Heller Lake.”

Progress has been made on the northwest flank and equipment will be demobilized as crews work their way over to the northeast flank.

An excursion on this flank from last week continues to be active and crews will work to directly attack the spot.

BCWS explains that some crews will be dropped into some of the more remote areas to assess cabins and other structures that may need structural protection.


(UPDATE: Aug. 21 @ 6 pm) – More evacuation alerts have been downgraded in response to the limited growth of the Sparks Lake wildfire.

The fire continues to be estimated at 93,533 hectares.

There are 83 firefighters and 30 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire today.

Forty-two structure protection personnel and 13 helicopters are available through the Sparks Lake Complex.

Today, 153 properties in Thompson-Nicola Regional District were downgraded to “all clear.”

<who> Photo Credit: TNRD

Yesterday morning, the District of Barriere rescinded its evacuation alert.

Another 231 properties in electoral area “O” (Lower North Thompson) and electoral area “P” (Rivers and Peaks) were downgraded to all clear on Friday.

<who> Photo Credit: TNRD

Yesterday also saw 245 properties in electoral area “I” (Blue Sky Country) and electoral area “J” (Copper Desert Country) removed from evacuation alert.

<who> Photo Credit: TNRD

An additional 88 properties were also moved to all clear yesterday afternoon.

BC Wildfire Service explains that the northeast corner continues to be the most active flank.

Today and yesterday, skimmers delivered water to the fire’s perimeter to support ground crews.

“Heavy equipment is working to establish a fire guard along the Jamieson FSR, near Dunsapie Lake, where crews are engaged in direct attack.”

Crews working in the Vidette Lake area and on the Clinton-Hihium FSR are now in the mop-up stage.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS


(UPDATE: Aug. 20 @4:20 pm): The Sparks Lake wildfire is still estimated at 93,533 hectares and remains classified as out of control today.

The TNRD has also issued a notice saying that an evacuation alert issued for 88 properties in the Bonaparte Plateau and Lower North Thompson has been rescinded, as the threat of wildfire in the area no longer poses an imminent risk to the safety of residents.


(UPDATE: Aug. 19 @ 10:10 am) - There isn't a lot of new information to report for the Sparks Lake wildfire, but there has been a small change to the size of the fire thanks to more accurate mapping.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is now estimated at 93,533 hectares in size.



Heavy equipment continues work to establish a fire guard along Jamieson FSR near Dunsapie Lake in the northeast portion of the fire, while crews are also making good progress on a spot fire on the east side of Jamieson FSR.

They will continue to utilize heavy equipment to widen the road to strengthen the control line, while opportunities for planned ignitions in the Beaverhut Lake FSR area are also being assessed.

Crews continue to engage in direct attack in the Vidette Lake area and are receiving helicopter support when visibility allows.

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and an evacuation order for Electroral Areas "E" and "J" was partially downgraded to an evacuation alert on Tuesday.

The District of Barriere remains under an evacuation alert.

At this time, 111 firefighters, 30 pieces of heavy equipment and seven helicopters are assigned to this fire.

Seventy structure protection personnel are shared within the complex and available for this fire if needed, while an incident management team is controlling operations on site.


(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 10:20 am) – BC Wildfire Service personnel recorded around 11 millimetres of rainfall on the Sparks Lake wildfire.

The estimated size has gone down to 95,360 hectares as a result – down an estimated 620 hectares from yesterday.

In this morning’s update, BCWS attributes the reduced size to “lower temperatures, higher relative humidity and some precipitation.”

The agency notes that the northern flank of the fire continues to see the most activity.

There are 116 firefighters, seven helicopters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire today.

Crews continue to make progress on a spot fire east of the Jamieson forest service road.

Hand ignition operations are being planned in the Beaverhut Lake area.

Direct attacks are taking place near the Clinton-Hihium Lake and Joe Ross forest service road areas.

The evacuation alert for the District of Barriere remains in effect.

An evacuation order has been partially downgraded to an alert for 13 properties in electoral area "E" (Grasslands) and "J" (Copper Desert Country).

There are multiple evacuation orders and alerts in effect from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, visit the website of Facebook to stay up to date.


(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 9:30 am) – The Sparks Lake wildfire continues to burn out of control and is now estimated at 95,980 hectares.

BC Wildfire Service crews observed significant fire activity yesterday afternoon on the northeast flank.

Yesterday, the District of Barriere issued an evacuation alert, effective Aug. 16 at 10:00 am.

“A current wildfire nearby the jurisdiction of the District of Barriere poses a threat to the structures and residents located within the municipal boundary,” read the statement.

<who> Photo Credit: District of Barriere

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation alert for 231 properties in electoral area “O” (Lower North Thompson) and electoral area “P” (Rivers and Peaks).

All other evacuation alerts and orders due to the Sparks Lake wildfire remain in effect.

Visit the TNRD website or Facebook page to stay up to date.

<who> Photo Credit: TNRD

Crews directly attacked the fire along the Jamieson FSR near Dunsapie Lake.

There were 116 firefighters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment working the fire yesterday afternoon.

Crews continue to determine where contingency lines can be established on the northeastern flank.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS

Helicopters supported direct attacks in the Vidette Lake area.

The northwest corner of the fire also continued to show increased behaviour where crews worked to reinforce the fire guards.

BC Wildfire Service incident commander, Hugh Murdoch, provided an update last night around 8 pm on the Sparks Lake and Tremont Creek wildfires.


(UPDATE: Aug.16 @ 10:40 am) – The Sparks Lake wildfire is now estimated to be burning at 90,550 hectares.

BC Wildfire Service reports that “aggressive” fire behaviour was observed on Sunday, Aug. 15.

“Strong winds resulted in significant growth to the northeast where the fires has reached the Jamieson FSR near Dunsapie Lake.”

There are 116 firefighters, seven helicopters, 32 pieces of heavy equipment and 94 structural protection personnel being shared within the fire complex.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued a new evacuation order for 12 properties in the electoral area “O” (East Bonaparte Lake).

Those properties include:

  • 8400 Akehurst Lake

  • 7800 Caverhill Lake

  • 8280 Darlington Creek FSR

  • 3381 to 3437 Jamieson-Spruce Grove FSR

  • 6620 Jamieson-Spruce Grove FSR

For more information, visit the TNRD website or Facebook page.

Personnel are working to determine where heavy equipment can move into to establish contingency lines in the northeastern flank of the fire.

Crews successfully completed planned ignitions in this area to reduce the amount of fuel in the fire’s path.

Ground and helicopter crews will also be engaging in direct attack in the Vidette Lake area.

“Increased fire behaviour was also observed on the northwest corner, near the Clinton-Hihium Lake FSR where ground crews are engaged in direct attack and heavy equipment is working to bolster fire guards,” notes BCWS.

The agency explains that more opportunities for controlled burn is an ongoing process.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard


(UPDATE: Aug. 14 @ 3 pm) – The Sparks Lake wildfire has grown 1,723 hectares and is now estimated at 72,699 hectares.

There are 117 firefighters, seven helicopters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to this fire today.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is expecting increased fire activity on the northern flank today and for the next 48 hours.

The Vidette Lake area saw increased fire activity and helicopter crews responded with bucketing operations – this will continue today.

The Clinton-Hihium forest service road also saw increased fire activity.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

Small scale hand ignitions are planned for this area today, if conditions are favourable.

Crews will also continue to build a guard on the Tobacco Plateau in the western flank, working their way north and northeast of the fire.

“Crews will engage in direct attack on any hot spots identified along the Joe Ross FSR and Clinton/Tuleric Lake FSR,” notes BCWS.

Last night, just before 8 pm, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for a properties at 9425 Deadman-Vidette Road.

For the latest information on evacuation notices issued by the TNRD, visit this link.


(UPDATE: August.12 @ 1:20 pm) - The Sparks Lake wildfire burning just 15 kilometres north of Kamloops Lake is now an estimated 70,976 hectares.

The fire remains most active along the north, northeast and northwest perimeters, but crews are working to connect the guards that are constructed around the Young Lake wildfire.

BCWS continues monitoring for hot spots along Tranquille to Frog Lake and in the area of Beaverhut Lake, west of Hiahkwah Lake, Joe Ross FSR and Clinton/Tuleric Lake FSR.

Planned ignitions will be happening on the west and northwest to strengthen containment lines, if weather allows. With heavy equipment being utilized to build guards on the Tobacco Plateau in the west.

There are currently 97 firefighters, 32 pieces of heavy equipment, seven helicopters, and an Incident Management Team assigned to the fire.

Evacuation alerts and orders remain in place for parts of the TNRD.

"Choosing to remain in an area that is under an evacuation order puts yourself, your family, and first responders in danger. It's not worth the risk. If you've been placed under an evacuation order, that means you are advised to leave the area for your own safety and for the health and safety of firefighters," said BCWS.

"People who remain in an area that's under an evacuation order may not receive assistance as firefighters and aircraft may not be able to reach you. If you are planning on staying, ensure your home is well prepared and you have a wildfire survival plan in place," said BCWS.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


(UPDATE: Aug. 11 @ 3:50 pm) - The most up to date mapping from the BC Wildfire Service estimates the Sparks Lake wildfire at 69,777 hectares.

That's more than 7,000 hectares smaller than the previous estimate, which the BCWS says is due to new perimeter maps being available.

According to the agency, the fire has had "no significant growth" over the last few days and is currently burning unburnt fuel between the fire and guards in the northeast and northwest.

"BC Hydro crews are working around the clock to restore infrastructure through the burnt areas and when it is complete we will be looking at recommending the removal of orders where it is safe to do so," says the latest update.

"(The BCWS) will be recommending to the (Thompson-Nicola Regional District) to downgrade some evacuation order area to alert over this weekend."

In recent days, some orders have already been downgraded to alerts and you can find all the latest information on evacuations by visiting the TNRD website.

There are currently 110 firefighters, 38 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters assigned to this fire.


(UPDATE: Aug. 9 @ 8:30 pm) – The Sparks Lake wildfire is still being estimated at 77,101 hectares.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) reports that the fire is burning unburnt fuel between the perimeter and guards in the northeast and northwest.

“Last night a rain band with some lightning passed over the [...] fire ground, ground and air crews are currently in the field assessing for any nearby new starts or fire growth.”

If the milder weather conditions stick around, crews will engage in planned ignitions on unburnt fuel between the guard and main body of the fire.

There are 120 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 28 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to this fire today.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

Effective Aug. 7, the evacuation orders issued on June 29, June 30 and July 4 by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) have been downgraded to an alert.

The 60 properties on alert, in electoral area “J” (Copper Desert Country), include:

  • 5688 to 10020 Deadman-Vidette Road

  • 4000 Leblond Road

  • 2932 to 2964 Sabiston Creek FSR

  • 7900 and 8185 Seven Lakes Road

  • 4595 to 8092 Tranquille-Criss Creek Road

An evacuation order is still in place for 15 properties which include:

  • 5472 to 5993 3400 Road

  • 5293 and 5675 342 Road

  • 5848 Clinton-Loon Lake FSR

  • 7888 and 8396 Clinton-Upper Loon Lake FSR

Visit this link for the latest updates from the TNRD in regard to the Sparks Lake wildfire.

<who> Photo Credit: Thompson-Nicola Regional District


(UPDATE: Aug. 6 @ 12:00 pm) - Although the Sparks Lake wildfire has seen little growth over the past few day, it has now merged with the southern tail of the Young Lake fire which was being dealt with by Cariboo Fire Centre.

According to BCWS the estimated size of the wildfire is now 77,101 hectares.

Both crews are working together to ensure machine guards are built in the northeast

Some planned ignitions may occur through the weekend during milder fire conditions to burn remaining unburnt fuel between guards and the fire

BC Hydro crews are working around the clock to restore infrastructure through the burnt areas and when that is complete will be looking at recommending the removal of orders where it is safe to do so.

Areas being reviewed over the coming days include areas from the south of the fire near Red Lake up to approximately the Criss Creek area.

Some areas will also be looked at on the western flank, however, specifics are currently unknown as a review is still underway for the containment on that side of the fire.

As of today there are 94 firefighters, 27 pieces of heavy equipment, and nine helicopters on scene, with structure protection crews continuing to apply FireSmart principles and triage communities as needed.

A list of evacuation orders and alerts remain in place, you can find the full list here.

A full update from BCWS can be found here.


(UPDATE: Aug. 5 @ 12 pm) – The Sparks Lake wildfire has not experienced any significant growth in the past two days and continues to burn out of control at 68,511 hectares.

Today, there are 100 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 26 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire.

Structural protection operations remain active.

The fire remains active and growing in the north and static in the western and eastern flanks.

Crews on the eastern flank continue with small planned ignitions to burn any remaining fuel between the guard and fire’s edge.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

“We are currently assessing roads that have been burnt over to ensure they are safe prior to any orders being relaxed,” explains BCWS.

Crews on the western flank of the fire are building guards to prevent the fire from growing in the Tobacco creek drainage system.

An evacuation order for 20 properties in the TNRD electoral area “J” has been downgraded to an alert.

Visit this link for updated information on evacuation orders and alerts for the Sparks Lake fire

The Skeetchestn Indian Band has downgraded the evacuation order for the community to an alert, effective Aug. 4 at 8 am.


(UPDATE: Aug. 3 @ 10:40 am) – The Sparks Lake fire grew slightly over the weekend and is now burning at an estimated 68,511 hectares.

BC Wildfire Service explains that crews continue to stay out of the north flank of the fire due to the fire behaviour.

The north and north east flanks of this fire continue to grow and BCWS predicts that “fire activity will remain high along” those areas.

One property in the northern flank of this fire has suffered damage.

The Gillinghams' 160 acre homestead, Northern Song Farm, was established in 1972.

<who> Photo Credit: Crystal Gillingham

During a pine bark beetle infestation the family took the time to treat the trees on their property while planting approximately 75,000 new trees.

Fortunately, the family has noted that they have not lost any buildings but the forest and fencing around their property has been scorched.

A fundraiser has been set up to help the owners, who evacuated on June 30, to recover and rebuild.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

The Sparks Lake fire has not moved significantly in the west or east and shows minimal growth in the west and southwest flanks.

BCWS affirms that crews will continue to work along the eastern and western flanks, building control lines and attacking the fire directly where safe.

Today, there are 93 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 31 pieces of heavy equipment on site.

They are supported by 17 structure protection personnel, three unit trailers and one structure protection specialist.

Visit this link for more information on the evacuation orders and alerts issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.


(UPDATE: July 29 @ 11:20 am ) – The Sparks Lake wildfire grew an estimated 6,520 hectares since yesterday’s update.

There are 78 firefighters, nine helicopters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.

Crews are supported by three structure protection (SP) crews, totalling 15 personnel, four SP trailers and one SP specialist.

BC Wildfire Service reports that “the fire remains extremely active along the northern flank and is growing moderately in a north east direction.”

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

The agency is forecasting increased fire activity in the northern and northeast areas due to the high temperatures and low humidity.

BCWS reiterates crews are staying out of the northern area of this fire due to unsafe working conditions and higher priority areas.

However, BCWS is reporting that there has been no significant movement to the west and the western flank is showing minimal growth.

“As areas in the south are being secured, crews will move up along the eastern and western flank to create control lines and direct attack where possible towards the north.”

Visit the Thompson-Nicola Regional District website for more information on evacuation orders and alerts.


(UPDATE: July 28 @ 12 pm ) – The Sparks Lake wildfire is still burning out of control at 58,964 hectares.

The north flank of the fire continues to show intense behaviour due to the hot and windy conditions.

BC Wildfire Serivce reports that there are currently no ground or air resources in this area due to other higher priority areas and unsafe conditions.

“There are no crews or equipment to redirect to properties in this area,” explains BCWS.

Crews set up structure protection equipment on properties in this area and will monitor their equipment once it is safe to do so.

BCWS stressed the importance of obeying evacuation orders so firefighters and other resources are not forced to keep people out of harm’s way.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Wildfire dashboard

“Choosing to remain in an area that is under an evacuation order puts yourself, your family, and first responders in danger. It's not worth the risk.”

Today, there are 90 firefighters, nine helicopters and 38 pieces of heavy equipment fighting this fire.

They are supported by five structure protection crews, totalling 27 personnel, five protection unit trailers and one structure protection specialist.

The TNRD evacuation order for 296 properties and evacuation alert for 298 properties remain in place.


(UPDATE: July 27 @ 10:25 am) - The Sparks Lake wildfire is an estimated 58,964 hectares in size, which is only a few hundred hectares bigger than it was mapped on Monday.

However, the BC Wildfire Service says "the north flank of the Sparks Lake wildfire is exhibiting intense fire behaviour driven by wind and (hot) temperatures."

Unfortunately, there are no ground or air resources assigned to the northern flank, which is due to a couple factors.

The intense fire behaviour is making suppression efforts unsafe, while there's also other higher priority areas of the fire that need more immediate attention from crews.

In this morning's update, the BCWS also addressed residents that are ignoring evacuation orders that are in place for this fire.

"If you've been placed under an evacuation order, that means you are advised to leave the area for your own safety and for the health and safety of firefighters," the agency said.

"People who remain in an area that's under an evacuation order may impede the ability of fire crews to fight a wildfire, because crews may be forced to stop fighting the fire to keep you out of harm's way."

Evacuation orders remain in place from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District for 296 properties, while another 298 are under an evacuation alert.

There are currently 116 firefighters, 42 pieces of heavy equipment and nine helicopters assigned to the fire, along with five structure protection crews.

<who>Photo Credit: BCWS


(UPDATE: July 26 @ 10 am) - The Sparks Lake wildfire, which remains the biggest active fire in British Columbia, continued to grow over the weekend.

The fire is now estimated at 58,172 hectares in size and remains out of control.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, crews have successfully secured the fire perimeter on the eastern flank from Tranquille Road to Frog Lake.

"Structure protection specialists are working in the Red Lake, North Gisborne, Vidette, Enright Lake, Bonaparte areas to triage structures and set up equipment," the BCWS explained.

As areas in the south continue to be secured, firefighters will move up along the eastern flank to create control lines and direct attack where possible.

On the west flank, crews continue to work on patrol and mop-up in the Deadman Valley, as well as establishing containment from Sabiston Lake north towards the fire's perimeter.

Crews are also carrying out direct attack from Smith Camp Road to Steam Shovel Road.

"Heavy equipment supported by helicopter are building guard from Hihium Lake connecting to existing roads down to the Tobacco Creek Drainage," said the BCWS.

"The fire has not grown west toward Hihium lake, but small areas of coniferous fuels are catching but the main flank of the fire is not moving west."

There are 128 firefighters, 33 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters currently assigned to this fire, along with five structure protection crews made up of 29 personnel.

Evacuation orders remain in place for 296 properties, while the Thompson-Nicola Regional District also has 298 properties under an evacuation alert.


(UPDATE: July 23 @ 6:20 am) - There's been more growth at the Sparks Lake wildfire.

BC Wildfire Service now estimates the fire to be 55,815 hectares in size.

It remains the largest fire in the province.

"The increase in size is inclusive of growth over the last three days that has been mapped more accurately now," BCWS explained in an update last night.

"Most of this growth is in the northeastern flank of the fire."

Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place for hundreds of properties.

The fire – which is suspected to be human-caused – remains out of control.

In its last update, BCWS said it had 112 firefighters, nine helicopters and 43 pieces of heavy equipment fighting the fire.

"Crews are working to secure 100 feet into the fire perimeter along the east flank from Tranquille Road to Frog Lake," BCWS explained.

"South Carbine Hill is being monitored and all excursions south of control lines are being extinguished. Structure protection specialists are working in the Red Lake, North Gisborne, Vidette, Enright Lake areas to triage structures and set up equipment. Crews continue to work on patrol and mop-up in the Deadman Valley and will work on establishing containment from Sabiston Lake north towards the fire perimeter.

"Equipment is continuing work around Mount Uren to build control lines and crews will use direct attack methods from Sabiston Lake, south around Mount Uren. Additionally, crews will be assessing and planning control lines in the Tobacco Creek area, north of the Deadman."


(UPDATE: July 21 @ 9 am) - The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued additional evacuation orders for the Sparks Lake wildfire.

Although the fire is still estimated at 47,732 hectares, more properties are now being threatened by the blaze, which is currently the biggest in BC.

Residents living in Bonaparte Plateau and Copper Desert County are affected by this latest order, which you can learn more about here.

<who>Photo Credit: TNRD

There are 140 firefighters, 49 pieces of heavy equipment and 11 helicopters currently assigned to the fire, along with an incident management team and additional support staff.

Multiple structure protection crews and specialists are also on site.

Crews continued to work on patrol and mop up on Tuesday, as well as establishing containment from Sabiston Lake north towards the fire's perimeter.

Planned ignitions remain a possibility in the Mount Uren area in the coming days, but it will depend on whether conditions are favourable.


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 10:25 am) - British Columbia's largest active wildfire has shown more growth.

It's only a minor increase this time, as the first has grown around 2,500 hectares to 47,732 hectares in size.

"(On Monday), crews completed some small hand ignitions in the Wadley Hill area to tie into some of the planned ignition from the day before," said the BC Wildfire Service.

"Today, crews will be working on mop-up in the Wadley Hill area, as well as along the east flank from Tranquille Road to Frog Lake. Crews will begin work to establish direct line by Frog Lake."


Crews will also work on patrol and mop-up in certain areas today, while also establishing containment from Sabiston Lake north towards the fire's perimeter.

Opportunities for an ignition operation will also be assessed today, as the BCWS is hoping to conduct them in the Mount Uren area over the next several days if conditions allow it.

There are 140 firefighters, 11 helicopters and 49 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to this fire, along with an incident management team.

Four structure protection crews totalling 20 personnel are also assigned to the fire, as well as four structure protection unit trailer and two specialists.

Evacuation orders remain in place for 289 properties through the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.


(UPDATE: July 19 @ 10:20 am) – The Sparks Lake wildfire is burning at an estimated 45,167 hectares.

On Saturday, July 1 crews were successful in their planned low intensity ignition operations to secure the containment lines around Wadley Hill.

Sunday, July 18 also saw additional planned ignitions to secure containment lines around the Red Lake community.

“Structure protection personnel and crews are continuing to apply FireSmart principles and triage communities in the Red Lake, North Gisborne and Vidette areas,” says the BCWS fire of note page.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS / Planned ignition the Gisborne area to secure containment lines

Crews continue to work with fire behaviour analysts and ignition specialists to develop plans for future ignitions and to establish water delivery systems east of Sabiston Lake.

There are currently 131 firefighters, 11 helicopters, 52 pieces of heavy equipment and an incident management team working on this fire.

There are also three structure protection crews, totalling 20 personnel, four structure protection unit trailers and two structure protection specialists on scene.

The evacuation order for 289 properties remains in place and 298 remain on alert.

Visit TNRD website for more information and to stay up to date with evacuations


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 5 pm) - The Sparks Lake wildfire is now being mapped at 44,894 hectares in size.

Heavy smoke in the area has made that process difficult over recent days, but visibility improved enough on Wednesday night to give air crews a chance to re-assess the perimeter.

The BC Wildfire Service says active fire behaviour has been seen on the southwest and southeast flanks over the past 72 hours.

<who>Photo Credit: BCWS</who>The fire perimeter as of Wednesday night.

"Crews continue to monitor and patrol the burn line south of Red Lake to South Carabine Hill," explains the BCWS website.

"Heavy equipment is continuing to prepare the Sabiston Forest Service Road for planning ignitions set to occur in the area."

There are currently 90 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 58 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to this fire.

Evacuation orders remain in place for 289 Thompson-Nicola Regional District properties, while another 298 are on evacuation alert.

You can find out more on the TNRD website.


(UPDATE: July 14 @ 12:05 pm) - British Columbia's largest active wildfire remains at an estimated 40,000 hectares.

It's been just over two weeks since the fire north of Kamloops Lake was discovered and it remains out of control.

Visibility has been hampering suppression efforts, but light winds are expected to improve that today, although it could also result in increased fire behaviour.

The size estimate could jump once the smoke clears enough to get updated mapping on the fire.

There are 125 BC Wildfire Service firefighters assigned to the blaze and they're getting support from 58 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters.

Crews are spread throughout the fire zone establishing control lines, providing structural protection continuity and monitoring fire activity.

The areas around Frog Lake, Red Lake and Avery Hill continue to be priorities for crews.

Evacuation orders remain in place for 289 Thompson-Nicola Regional District properties, while another 585 are on evacuation alert.

You can find out more on the TNRD website.


(UPDATE: July 13 @ 9:58 am): Another 110 properties have been issued evacuation orders because of the Sparks Lake wildfire.

They are:

  • 3037 and 3040 Dale Rd;
  • 6304 to 6436 Frederick Rd
  • 9552 to 9596 Harbridge Dr
  • 9620 to 9792 Meadow Rd;
  • 9540 to 10070 Tranquille-Criss Creek Rd; and
  • Any other properties identified on the attached map.

"If you are in the described area, you must leave immediately," the regional district said.

Learn more about evacuations here.

The fire itself remains at 40,267 hectares.

According to the latest update, the fire is being dealt with by:

  • 125 firefighters
  • 10 helicopters
  • 58 pieces of heavy equipment
  • Various specialists

(Original story: July 13 @ 5:30 am): Another nine properties have been made the subject of an evacuation order as the Sparks Lake wildfire continues to burn out of control.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued the order late last night.

It said it was doing so "because of the potential danger to life and safety."

<who> Photo credit: TNRD

The following properties are affected:

  • 1280 to 2245 Copper Creek Rd;
  • 2040 to 3672 Sabiston Creek Rd;
  • 320 to 360 Savona Dump Rd;
  • 7788 to 7821 Savona Station Rd; and
  • Any other properties on this map.

To check on previously issued evacuation orders and alerts, click here.

The fire, which was discovered on June 28 and is thought to be human-caused, is now at 40,267 hectares.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) yesterday said that "fire activity challenged control lines."

It added: "Air tankers provided support on the west flank near Split Rock, while helicopters worked in the Frog Lake area on the east flank."

According to BCWS's latest update, there are 128 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 60 pieces of heavy equipment battling the fire.



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