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UPDATE: Dry, hot conditions expected to increase Nohomin Creek fire activity

(UPDATE: July 24 @ 8:32 am) – In an update posted to the BC Wildfire Service website later Saturday night, more accurate mapping indicates the fire is estimated at 2,193 hectares.

This is 310 less hectares than what was estimated on Saturday. However, it remains classified as out of control.

The fire, which has been burning since July 14, is located about 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton on the west side of the Fraser River.

“A warming and drying trend will continue to bring hot and dry conditions this week which could cause an increase in fire behaviour,” explained the BCWS in an update.

“Crews on both the north and south flanks continue to make progress towards containment, despite steep terrain and increasingly high daytime temperatures.”

Growth also continues to be observed on the west flank of the fire but it has remained on the north side of the Stein River.

An aerial infrared scan was conducted Saturday night and crews will work to extinguish identified hotspots throughout the day on Sunday.

The Lytton Ferry is now back in service which will help transport crews over the Fraser River which, the BCWS say, will “significantly decrease travel time to the worksite and increase crew hours on the fire and overall safety."


(UPDATE: July 23 @ 1:47 pm) – The Nohomin Creek wildfire has experienced another increase in growth.

The BC Wildfire Service is estimating the fire at 2,503 hectares as of Saturday morning.

However, fire behaviour remains quieter which has allowed crews easier working conditions.

Currently, there are four unit crews, seven initial attack crews, 18 Lytton First Nation firefighters and one incident management team on site.

They are supported by structure protection personnel, a cultural liaison from Lytton First Nation, four water tenders and 11 helicopters.


(UPDATE: July 23 @ 7:37 am) – Although the Nohomin Creek wildfire saw a significant increase in size on Thursday, the BC Wildfire Service said “quieter fire behaviour” was observed Friday.

This has allowed BCWS and Lytton First Nation firefighters to make good progress on containment and contingency lines that will limit the spread of the fire.

“Temperatures will continue to rise, and humidity may decrease into the coming week, which could challenge crews by causing an increase in fire behaviour,” explained the BCWS in an update late Friday night.

“Steep terrain continues to challenge crews by limiting access to portions of the fire. Helicopters are being used to transport crews to the worksite which reduces travel time and increases crew hours on the fire.”

Crews will begin to extend the existing sprinkler system further east in the Stein Valley. There is already 1,500 feet of hose set up through the heritage park.

According to the Friday night update, an aerial infrared scan was conducted to identify hotspots on the eastern flank of the fire.

Crews will be working to extinguish those on Saturday morning.

“In collaboration with Lytton First Nation, traffic into the wildfire area along the west side of the Fraser Canyon is now limited to wildfire response personnel and local traffic only between Texas Creek Road/Spencer Road at the 20.5km mark south of Lillooet and at the Lytton footbridge,” added the BCWS.

Evacuation alerts of orders issued by Lytton Fire Nation and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District remain in place.


(UPDATE: July 22 @ 5:42 am) – The Nohomin Creek wildfire has increased in size amid worsening conditions, the BC Wildfire Service said late last night.

Firefighters said the fire is now estimated to be 2,223 hectares in size – up from 2,058 ha.

"The anticipated warming and drying trend, in combination with the extremely steep terrain, has influenced fire behaviour," BCWS explained in an update on Thursday.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

"As expected, this afternoon fire activity significantly increased on the northern portion of the western flank, located north of the Stein River. Planned ignitions may be utilized as early as tomorrow to remove fuel between the fire and preidentified natural control lines."

BCWS said the drying trend is expected to stretch into next week.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

"With less cloud cover, sunny weather and temperatures warming up more quickly throughout the day, relative humidity's will be lower than over the weekend and fuels will continue to dry out," the agency explained.

"This is expected to contribute to increased fire behaviour and fire activity, creating potentially volatile conditions during peak burning times."

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

BCWS also emphasized that the difficult terrain remains one of the toughest challenges in controlling the fire.

Crews yesterday succeeded in putting down a spot fire near the start of the walking trail at the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park, however.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

BCWS added: "A coordinated approach in the response and protection of the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park will continue to be a priority for Lytton First Nation, BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service."


(UPDATE: July 20 @ 10:20 am) – The BC Wildfire Service is reporting steady activity on the 2,058 hectare Nohomin Creek wildfire that is burning around two kilometres northwest of Lytton.

No new growth has been noted since Monday, July 18. However, the fire remains classified as out of control.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS </who> BCWS personnel scouting the steep hillsides on July 19.

Conditions near Lytton continue to be hot and dry and the BCWS expects very little humidity in the area over the weekend.

Crews are now busy setting up the water delivery system to prevent the fire from spreading into the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park.

The western flank of the wildfire, on the north side of Stein Valley, remains the most active area.

BCWS explains that the terrain is ”incredibly steep, making it inoperable and unsafe for ground crews and equipment.”

Crews are using direct attack methods on the north and south flanks where fire activity is less aggressive.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS </who> July 18 crews dig guard along north flank.

"The crews working along the Stein Valley walking path continued with hose lay and establishing sprinklers yesterday and by the end of the day they had established 1,500 foot of hose lay and tested the sprinklers to ensure everything was working properly," explains the BCWS in its most recent update.

"Today they will be activating the sprinkler system and running it for the day to add moisture into the value bottom ahead of the anticipated hot and dry afternoon conditions."

The agency says a coordinated approach in the response and protection of the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park will continue to be a priority for Lytton First Nation, BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS </who> Crews working to lay down hoses in the steep terrain.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS </who> Crews are working to prevent the fire from spreading into the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park.


(UPDATE: July 19 @ 8:05 am) – Firefighters are warning of "potentially volatile conditions" at the Nohomin Creek wildfire as the weather outlook worsens in the BC Interior.

The fire, which is close to Lytton, remains out of control at 2,058 hectares.

In its Tuesday morning update, BC Wildfire Service explained: "A warming and drying trend is expected to persist throughout the week.

"With less cloud cover, sunny weather and temperatures warming up more quickly throughout the day, relative humidity's will be lower than over the weekend and fuels will continue to dry out.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS </who> The fire on July 17.

"This is expected to contribute to increased fire behaviour and fire activity, creating potentially volatile conditions during peak burning times."

The agency said winds yesterday reached 60 km/hr, but added that containment lines in the south, east and north flanks of the fire "held up well."

The western flank, however, has seen growth in the last couple of days.

BCWS added: "A coordinated approach in the response and protection of the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park will continue to be a priority for Lytton First Nation, BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS </who> The fire on July 17.

"A representative from Lytton First Nation that specializes in archeological site and cultural values is working with structure protection specialists and BCWS crews to identify cultural values along the beginning of the Stein Valley walking path and will be providing guidance and recommendations on the best options for protection of those values."

According to the most recent update, there are four unit crews, five initial attack crews, 19 Lytton First Nation firefighters, four water tenders and 10 helicopters among other resources at the fire.


(UPDATE: July 18 @ 7:00 pm) – The Nohomin Creek wildfire has grown once again according to the latest update.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) has now aerial mapped the wildfire to be approximately 2,058 hectares. This change in size is attributed to the growth that occurred yesterday afternoon upslope on the west flank of the fire.

Helicopters provided bucketing support throughout the day and had good success on both the north and south flanks, allowing crews to safely continue directly attacking the wildfire.

The three-unit crews working on the north flank are also making good progress.

One unit crew continues to build a 50-foot wet line from the eastern flank near the Fraser River, up to the BC Hydro transmission lines while another unit crew continues guard development up a steep mountain ridge on the northern flank.

The third unit crew is looking to establish a contingent control line north of the fire.

A coordinated approach in the response and protection of the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park will continue to be a priority for Lytton First Nation, BC Parks and the BCWS.

A representative from Lytton First Nation that specializes in archeological site and cultural values is working with structure protection specialists and BCWS crews to identify cultural values along the beginning of the Stein Valley walking path and will be providing guidance and recommendations on the best options for the protection of those values.

Currently, there are no impacts to Hwy 1 or Hwy 12, but you can check DriveBC for up-to-date information.

The fire remains out of control at this time.


(UPDATE: July 18 @ 5:30 am) – The Nohomin Creek wildfire near Lytton is advancing towards the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park, officials have said.

Lytton First Nation and BC Parks are working to "identify cultural values, sensitive sites, as well as other recreational and ecological values" so they can be protected.

The fire's estimated size was still 1,706 hectares late last night.

In a joint statement, Lytton First Nation and the BC Wildfire Service explained: "BC Wildfire Service ground and aerial crews have been working hard to contain the southern, eastern and northern flanks of the Nohomin Creek wildfire, to protect structures within the fire’s vicinity.

"The western flank of the fire has been growing upslope in steep, inoperable and difficult to access terrain. Responder safety is the number one priority, and this area poses significant safety challenges, thus crews are unable to action the western flank at this time."

They added that fire suppression efforts at Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park will be limited to the valley bottom to protect the park's infrastructure and "cultural values."

Crews will also "closely" monitor the fire to ensure it does not threaten any structures.

But BCWS warned that things could worsen in the near future.

"A warming and drying trend is forecast for the coming week, resulting in fuels drying out and becoming more susceptible to ignition," the agency explained.

"The fuel load in the area is heavy and as the Nohomin Creek wildfire progresses west, fuels the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park will be consumed. Large amounts of smoke will be emitted, and intense wildfire behaviour may be observed."


(UPDATE: July 17 @ 1:35 pm) – The Nohomin Creek wildfire is now estimated at just over 1,700 hectares.

That is up from 200 ha on Saturday and more than double than what was estimated Friday afternoon.

The BC Wildfire Service says some growth has been observed on the western flank of the fire which is moving upslope into steep terrain.

Earlier today, the agency said temperatures were expected to rise into the mid-20’s with low levels of humidity.

As of 1:30 pm, it is currently 23ºC in Lytton with south winds of 21 km/hr and gusts up to 32 km/hr.

The airspace over the wildfire is now restricted. All unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones) are prohibited for five nautical miles around the fire and up to 3,000 feet vertically.

“If a drone or other aircraft collides with firefighting aircraft, the consequences could be deadly,” explains the BCWS.

“Any aircraft within a restricted airspace can slow, or shut down aerial firefighting efforts and delay or halt overall fire suppression operations.”

The Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park is also partially closed. More information is available here.


(UPDTE: July 17 @ 10:40 am) – The Lytton area saw a low of 13ºC overnight with relative humidity up to 70%. These conditions helped calm behaviour on the Nohomin Creek wildfire.

Sunday weather conditions are expected to reach into the mid 20’s with winds gusting up to 40 km/hr in the afternoon.

The BC Wildfire Service explains that a bit of precipitation is also anticipated for the Lytton area, however, the small amounts will not be significant enough to have an impact on the fire.

There are four unit crews, five initial attack crews, 19 Lytton First Nation firefighters, an incident management team and structure protection personnel on scene Sunday.

<who> Photo Credit: BCWS

They are supported by four water tenders, eight helicopters and other support personnel.

Two more helicopters will be arriving this afternoon, explains BCWS.

Crews assigned to the south flank will continue to establish a water delivery system. They are also working to secure a portion of the fire to prevent it from advancing south into the Stein Valley.

On the north flank, crews continue to directly attack the fire. They are working their way up from the Fraser river to nearby hydro lines while scouting a spot for a contingency line.

Structure protection is ongoing and there continues to be no threat to Highway 1 or Highway 12.


(UPDATE: July 17 @ 7:30 am) – The BC Wildfire Service is reporting stable activity on the Nohomin Creek fire near Lytton.

The agency says there was no major growth observed on the fire Saturday.

Some cooler temperatures during the night of July 16 and a bit of moisture in the air helped keep the fire behaviour to a rank one or two.

One BCWS initial attack crew and 10 firefighters from Lytton First Nation remained on site overnight to continue mopping up and patrolling the northern flank near the Fraser River.

However, the fire is still considered out of control.

“In total, three unit crews, four initial attack crews, 19 Lytton First Nation firefighters, an incident management team, three water tenders, eight helicopters and other operational and support staff are supporting the response,” explains the BCWS.

Ground crews and aerial resources have been working on the south, east and north flanks of the fire.

The western flank of the fire continues to move into upslope, steep terrain that is proving challenging to access.

The BCWS says there is no threat to nearby highways but evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect for properties in the Lytton First Nation and some properties in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.


(UPDATE: July 16 @ 11:45 am) – The BC Wildfire Service says the wildfire burning northwest of Lytton remains estimated at 1,500 hectares.

The Nohomin Creek wildfire, which started on Thursday, continues to be classified as out of control.

“Overnight there was minimal growth on the fire and winds were calm,” says the BCWS.

“There was minimal fire activity on the north flank of the fire which was largely smoldering, backing downslope.”

Crews continue to be challenged by steep terrain which is hindering accessibility to areas around the fire.

There continues to be no impacts to Highway 1 or Highway 12, however, the Lytton Ferry remains closed in both directions.

Today, there will be an additional 21 person crew on site bringing the total to four unit crews.

A total of 15 structure protection specialists will be working on site as well. There are multiple helicopters and additional aerial resources available as needed.


(UPDATE: July 16 @ 7:36 am) – The Nohomin Creek wildfire northwest of Lytton remains estimated at 1,500 hectares as of 7:30 am on Saturday.

Fourteen personnel worked on the fire overnight and focused their efforts on structure protection.

Crews also patrolled the north flank, establishing control lines and actioning hot spots.

The BC Wildfire Service says sprinkler systems have been set up on nearby houses and are ready to be activated if needed.

On Friday, officials confirmed that six structures had been lost on Lytton First Nation, and reported an additional three that may have been impacted.

Several evacuation orders and alerts were issued by the Lytton First Nation along with Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

A total of 80 personnel worked on the fire yesterday. They were supported by six helicopters. Three air tankers and one birddog were on site, however, the thick smoke made conditions unsafe for the aircraft to engage the fire.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

Another update from the BC Wildfire Service can be expected later in the day. NowMedia staff will also provide an update once additional information is released.


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 4:25 pm): The Nohomin Creek wildfire has now been updated to 1,500 hectares as a result of wind-driven growth on the west flank, in steep terrain.

Fire behaviour is currently at a rank four and five, meaning the fire is a crown fire with an organized flame front and a moderate to fast rate of spread.

Winds are gusting around 30 to 40 km an hour and is pushing the fire away from communities at this time.

Currently, there are no impacts to Hwy 1 or Hwy 12, and the Lytton Ferry has been closed in both directions.

Lytton First Nation along with Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued a number of evacuation orders and alerts for properties in the area.

The wildfire remains out of control, and the cause is still unknown.


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 2:30 pm): This afternoon, the Government of British Columbia provided an update on the Nohomin Creek wildfire.

In the past 24 hours, the wildfire has seen significant growth and remains around 800 hectares.

At this time, the fire does not pose a threat to Lytton as it is spreading in the opposite direction and still remains about 1.7 km northwest of the community.

Minister of Forests, Katrine Conroy indicated that the fire had jumped the Fraser River last night, but firefighters were quick to stop the spread on that side.

Officials confirm six structures have been lost on Lytton First Nation, and are reporting an additional three that may have been impacted.

BC Wildfire Service crews are applying aggressive suppression efforts as the fire continues to spread.

They're supported by three 21-person crews and initial attack crews are currently on site, along with structure protection specialists to aid in their efforts, in total 80 personnel are on site.

In addition, there are six helicopters, three air tankers, and a Bird Dog plane coordinating fire efforts from the air.

An Incident Management Team has been deployed and will be assuming command of the fire.

Lytton First Nation along with Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued a number of evacuation orders and alerts for properties in the area.

"While this fire is growing, models indicate that at this point it should not impact other communities," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety.

Emergency reception centres have been established in Cache Creek and Lillooet, with 40 residents already confirmed in Cache Creek and 70 in Lillooet.

Evacuees of the Nohomin Creek fire can register here.

A smoky skies bulletin has also been issued for the Fraser Canyon/ Trans Canada Highway, as wildfire smoke is degrading air quality.


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 12:30 pm): There are 80 firefighting personnel working on the Nohomin Creek wildfire, officials have said.

BC Wildfire Service said there are also six helicopters at the scene.

Three air tankers and a bird dog, meanwhile, are en route.

<who> Photo credit: BCWS

The personnel are split into three 21-person crews and three initial attack crews, the agency explained.

The fire remains at 800 hectares and out of control.


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 11:10 am): The Nohomin Creek wildfire near Lytton has grown again.

It's now up to 800 hectares, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Earlier this morning, its size was updated from 200 hectares to 500 hectares.

BCWS said there has been growth on the west flank of the fire, in steep terrain.

It remains out of control.


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 8:28 am): BC Wildfire Service is reporting that the wildfire 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton has grown again.

In its first update of the day, BCWS explained the fire has expanded to 500 hectares.

It was last night estimated to be 200 hectares.

The agency said improved visibility at the site has allowed for a more accurate estimate of the fire's size.

"Ground crews reported wildfire behaviour decreased overnight, and the most active part of the fire was the west flank where rank three was observed in steep terrain," it explained.

The blaze remains out of control and BCWS said it is displaying rank three and four fire behaviour

Rank four behaviour is described by the agency as "highly vigorous surface fire with torching, or passive crown fire."

"Heavy smoke, accessibility and terrain are presenting challenges for personnel," it added.

BCWS also said 60 more firefighters are arriving at the site this morning.


(UPDATE: July 15 @ 5:15 am): The wildfire burning near Lytton is now estimated to have grown to 200 hectares, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

It is classed as out of control.

Lytton First Nation has issued a series of evacuation orders.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District has issued one evacuation order and one evacuation alert.

BCWS said it is still investigating the cause of the fire.

In its last update last night, the agency said it had 32 firefighters and two helicopters at the scene.

Air tankers were also supporting firefighters.

BCWS said teams remained at the fire overnight.


(UPDATE: July 14 @ 5:41 pm): The Nohomin Creek wildfire has now been placed on BCWS "Wildfires of Note" making it the first fire of the year in BC to make the list.

It's now estimated to be around 75 hectares and is classified as out of control, just 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton.

Smoke and terrain are presenting challenges on two flanks of the fire, while emergency crews continue to work on suppressing the blaze.

At this time, the cause of this incident is unknown and under investigation, and Fire Origin and Cause Specialists have been deployed.

Lytton First Nation has implemented an Evacuation Order for First Nations Reserve 23, 27B, 27 and 27A. While an alert has been issued for First Nation Reserve 9A and 9B.

NowMedia will continue to update the story as more information is provided.


(UPDATE: July 14 @ 4:24 pm): Emergency Management BC along with BCWS met this afternoon to provide an update on the Nohomin Creek wildfire.

At this time, crews are observing moderate rates of fire spread due to the gusty winds.

The fire has now grown to approx. 25 hectares and there are early reports that three structures have been lost on Lytton First Nation.

There is currently 54 personnel on the ground including, four initial attack crews who are being assisted by helicopters, air tankers and the local fire department.

An evacuation order has been issued for nine properties on Lytton First Nation, and alerts are in place for communities north of the fire.

"We have three elders that are in the direct line of this fire and we are working to make sure they're safe and that we can get the fire out as soon as possible," said Deputy Cheif of Lytton First Nation, John Haugen.

"We are experiencing another fire, I was told to be in the Hell's Gate area, so we have to be prepared for many things on really short notice."

A glitch in the system on the BC Dashboard system indicated the fire sparked at 5:45 am, which has now been confirmed to be untrue and the initial report of the fire came at 12:45 pm.

E-Comm outages that are still impacting landline and cell services in the area are not a direct result of the fire.

NowMedia will continue to update the story as more information is provided.


(ORIGINAL STORY: July 14 @ 3:15 pm): The Kamloops Fire Centre is responding to a small fire that sparked 1.7 km northwest of Lytton around 5 am this morning.

BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) indicated that gusty winds are influencing fire behaviour in the area.

The Nohomin Creek wildfire is estimated to be just two hectares in size burning on the west side of the Fraser River.

BCWS crews are on scene responding and are being supported by both helicopter and air tankers.

“This is a dynamic situation and updates will be provided as they become available,” said BCWS in a statement.

A 911, landline, and internet disruption were also reported by the Fraser Valley Regional District around noon, affecting the areas of Boston Bar, Hells Gate Airtram Terminal, Gladwin, Keefers, Lytton and Spences Bridge.

</who>Photo credit: Warren Lowe Facebook

At this time the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Emergency Management BC along with BCWS will be providing an update at 4:15 pm, NowMedia will update the story as more information is provided.



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