The Bunting Road blaze, which has combined with the Tsuius Creek wildfire, pictured Wednesday, Aug. 11, (Randy Smith photo)

The Bunting Road blaze, which has combined with the Tsuius Creek wildfire, pictured Wednesday, Aug. 11, (Randy Smith photo)

Wind flares up smoke on Bunting wildfire near Lumby

Increased fire behaviour and smoke at blaze above Mabel Lake

Wind and heat have flared up fire behaviour on the Bunting Road fire north of Lumby.

“Due to current weather conditions, the natural fire behaviour has become more active and increased visible smoke is a result of this,” the B.C. Wildfire Service reported at 5:46 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Growth on the Bunting Road wildfire has seen the blaze join with the nearby Tsuius Creek fire.

The fire is mapped at 4,733 hectares as of Wednesday, Aug. 11, after BC Wildfire Services (BCWS) reported the two fires merged.

“There has been lower fire behaviour observed on the wildfire and the objectives outlined below will remain the same for the coming days unless conditions change significantly,” BCWS said.

On the west side, crews and heavy equipment have made significant progress securing that side of the fire, nearest to Mabel Lake. A machine guard was constructed to protect structures along Mabel Lake FSR and crews will target hot spots when found.

“Because of this structure protection has been removed from all structures in the vicinity of this fire,” BCWS said.

On the north side of the fire, heavy equipment was working to establish machine guards and crews were working directly on the fire perimeter to contain this side on Aug. 10. This work was supported by helicopter bucketing.

Machine guard is also being constructed on the east side, making progress northwards.

On the west side, crews and heavy equipment have made significant progress securing this side of the fire, nearest to Mabel Lake.

A machine guard was constructed to protect structures along Mabel Lake forest service road.

A thermal imaging scan was completed on the west side Tuesday, which provided location information for hot spot targets that crews actioned Aug. 11. On the southwest corner of the fire planning is underway for crews to work directly on the fire perimeter where machines cannot operate in the steep terrain to the south. Machine guard is being constructed where safe to do so.

A small-scale planned ignition may take place on the west flank as well. This operation will remove a pocket of unburned fuel in the area.

“This will decrease the likelihood of the fire challenging the guards in this location if fire behaviour increases with the forecasted warm and dry weather this week,” BCWS said. “Smoke will be visible from this area.”

There are 23 firefighters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment on site. There are also eight helicopters available for this and the other Shuswap complex fires.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the 6,000 to 17,000 blocks of Mabel Lake FSR. The evacuation alert is also in place for the 3,300 to 6,000 block of the road, which is still closed to traffic and includes the provincial camp site.

READ MORE: Weather flares up smoke from Sicamous Two Mile fire

READ MORE: White Rock Lake wildfire orders ease but concern could rise along with the temperature

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B.C. Wildfires 2021