B.C. Wildfire Service firefighter works on the perimeter of a fire, July 2019. (B.C. government)

Largest Shuswap wildfire being held, no growth expected

Crews have begun the laborious task of building a fire guard around the Barriere Pass FSR fire.

Cooler weather and hard work from fire crews have halted the growth of three wildfires burning in the Shuswap.

The Barriere Pass Forest Service Road Fire burning near the north end of Adams Lake is now being held by BC Wildfire Service crews. The fire grew to its present size of 36.8 hectares after it was discovered on Aug. 17. Fire information officer Kyla Fraser said no further growth of the fire is expected with the 40 firefighters and two helicopters on scene.

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Fraser said the crew at the Barriere Pass fire is in the midst of the grueling task of digging a guard around the perimeter of the fire. The guard, dug with hand tools, has to reach the mineral soil to effectively halt the fire and Fraser said the dense foliage in the area makes that very difficult work. The perimeter of the fire is approximately 2.5 kilometres and Fraser said work would probably be ongoing into the weekend to get a guard in place.

The cooler weather also halted any growth of the Eagle Pass Mountain and Crazy Creek #2 fires east of Sicamous which are still listed as out of control. Fraser said crews are also still working on these two fires.

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She added that wind is expected to be a challenge for fire crews today and over the weekend with 20 to 30 km/h wind speeds and gusts up to 70 km/h in the forecast. Although the wind could lead to more aggressive fire behaviour, Fraser said precipitation could also be on the way ahead of a warming and drying trend next week.

Fraser said most of the fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre are now under control.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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