UPDATE 8:55 p.m.
The Nohomin Creek wildfire near Lytton now covers more than 20 square kilometres.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the latest mapping has the blaze pegged at 2,058 hectares — up from an estimate of approximately 1,700 hectares earlier in the day.
According to the agency, crews working the south and north flanks of the fire made good progress on Monday, while those on the east flank focused on mop up work.
“While the south, east and north flanks of the fire are currently exhibiting minimal fire activity, the western flank remains active, but much of the terrain is steep and inoperable,” a BCWS update reads.
“Yesterday, the fire moved up the western ridge line and partially spilled over into a shale rock face.”
UPDATE: 4:26 p.m.
Monday has been relatively quiet for firefighters battling a 1,700-hectare blaze near Lytton, but conditions are expected to worsen this week and the blaze could see some significant growth.
The Nohomin Creek fire covers an estimated 1,707 hectares as of Monday afternoon. The blaze started on Thursday west of Lytton, across the Fraser River from the townsite.
The fire saw explosive growth on Thursday night and Friday.
“The fire has been pretty quiet on the north and south flank,” BC Wildfire Service fire information officer Nicole Bonnett told Castanet.
“The crews are carrying on, but the terrain out there is really steep so it’s kind of slow going.”
Crews on the ground are being aided by 10 helicopters.
Bonnett said growth is expected on the west flank of the fire in steep, unsafe terrain.
“As we move into more of a warming and drying trend, particularly as the temperatures really start to climb back up tomorrow, we’re pretty likely to see some more fire activity in that area — specifically those north, east and south flanks that are fairly quiet as far as fire activity goes,” she said.
“With it getting sunnier and losing some of that cloud cover, the temperatures start to warm up earlier in the day, which means the fuels on the ground start to dry out a little bit faster and heat up.”
UPDATE 11 a.m.
Fire officials say crews are focused on protecting the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park walking trail from the growing Nohomin Creek fire near Lytton.
The fire was last mapped at 1,706 hectares, although growth has since occurred on the west flank and an updated fire perimeter will be announced later today.
“Crews remained on site overnight last night,” said BCWS Monday morning. “These ground crews made more good progress mopping-up and putting out hotspots on the 1.3 hectare spot fire that had been previously fully wetlined by the end of the daytime operational period.”
Crews have their eye on a “warming and drying trend” forecast to start today that will bring less cloud cover and lower relative humidities.
“This is expected to contribute to increased fire behaviour and fire activity creating potentially volatile conditions.”
On the south flank of the fire crews will spend Monday building line and attacking the fire as they work up a steep slope. Helipads have been constructed in the area.
Along the east flank, initial attack crews and Lytton First Nation firefighters continued mop up and patrol around structures within the fire’s vicinity.
The spot fire found Sunday near the start of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park walking trail will continue to be attacked on Monday.
A cultural values and archaeologist from Lytton First Nation will be working with structure protection specialists and BC Wildfire crews to identify cultural values in the Stein Valley bottom and provide guidance on how best to protect those values.
On the north flank, crews are building a wetline from the eastern flank near the Fraser River, up to the BC Hydro transmission lines. Another unit crew is continuing 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.
“The western flank remains active, but much of the terrain is steep and inoperable. Yesterday the fire moved up the western ridge line and partially spilled over into a shale rock face,” said BCWS.
“Helicopters provided bucketing support throughout the day yesterday and had good success on both the north and south flanks, allowing crews to safely continue directly attacking the wildfire. Their support will continue throughout today.”
ORIGINAL 9 a.m.
Showers are likely over the northern end of British Columbia's Fraser Canyon, potentially aiding crews battling a 17-square kilometre wildfire just west of the village of Lytton.
But Environment Canada says any rain will also be accompanied by very blustery winds.
The weather office is calling for a 60 per cent chance of showers around Lytton and warns of the chance of thundershowers, while winds are expected to gust up to 70 km/h later in the day.
Those conditions cover the same area where the out-of-control blaze has destroyed at least six properties and forced more than 100 people from their homes on the west side of the Fraser River northeast of Vancouver.
The BC Wildfire Service says flames were moving west over the weekend, but winds on Sunday fuelled growth on the southern flank, across the Fraser River but closer to Lytton.
Recovery is just beginning in Lytton, which was mostly wiped out by a wildfire one year ago.
There's also concern about a spot fire found early Sunday near the start of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park walking path, partially closing the park.
An initial attack crew and 10 Lytton First Nation firefighters patrolled the walking path overnight, after crews built a wet line around the hot spot and monitored for further spread.
The wildfire service says more than 80 people have been assigned to the fire, backed by four water tenders, ten helicopters and other operational and support crews.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze is continuing.
The Canadian Press