Watching Creek wildfire remapped at 270 hectares, no growth in days

Watching fire now 270 ha.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.

The BC Wildfire Service says the Watching Creek wildfire northwest of Kamloops has been remapped at 270 hectares.

While that is an increase from the previous estimate of 195 hectares, fire officials say the blaze hasn’t actually grown.

“The previous size was based on an estimate, a more accurate perimeter track was collected today,” BCWS said.

There has been no significant growth on the fire since Aug. 2.

“This change in boundary is predominantly down-slope on the eastern flank where terrain is steep and rocky as well as a more accurate perimeter on the northeast flank representing roughly 10 hectares,” BCWS said.

Fire behaviour dropped with cooler temperatures to just rank one and two, out of six.

ORIGINAL 8:35 a.m.

Cooler weather is expected to mean reduced fire activity on a 195-hectare blaze Thursday burning northwest of Kamloops.

The Watching Creek wildfire was discovered on Friday in the Lac du Bois area, believed to be the result of a lightning strike. The fire saw substantial growth on Monday.

“Cooler weather is expected to persist today with cloudy skies and scattered showers, cooler maximum temperatures and increased minimum relative humidity,” the BC Wildfire Service said in an update posted online on Thursday morning.

“There is also a chance of isolated late-morning or afternoon thunderstorms. Smoke will likely remain visible from Kamloops and nearby communities for the coming days, however fire activity is expected to remain reduced.”

Sixty-five firefighters are working the blaze on the ground, alongside six helicopters and nine pieces of heavy equipment. According to the BCWS, crews are working to establish a water delivery system and mop up in the northeast corner of the fire and beginning to establish a hand guard on the west flank.

A guard has been completed on the south section of the east flank, the agency said, and crews will work Thursday to complete the remainder on the northeast section of the fire.

Structure protection has been set up on one property in the Pass Lake area “as a protective measure,” BCWS said in the update.

“There is no current threat to the structures,” it read.

The latest BCWS mapping, which was completed on Tuesday, places the fire’s perimeter about nine kilometres north of Kamloops city limits at Tranquille. The fire’s easternmost flank is about 13 kilometres west of Westsyde Road.

This story will be updated as more information becomes known.

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