The Sparks Lake wildfire, now estimated to be 90,550 hectares in size, has caused evacuation alerts to be issued for almost 1,000 properties from Darflield to McLure, as well as the District of Barriere. The evacuation alerts are effective 10 a.m. Aug. 16.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an alert for 231 properties in Electoral Areas “O” and “P.” A list of effected addresses can be found here.
An evacuation alert for the District of Barriere is in effect for all properties within the District’s municipal boundaries.
Due to the potential threat to structures, properties and residents of these areas from the Sparks Lake wildfire, the TNRD and DOB have issued the alerts to allow those affected to prepare to evacuate the premises of their properties, should it be found necessary. The order to evacuate could come with little notice.
It is recommended that those under an evacuation alert:
– Locate all family members and designate a meeting area outside the evacuation area, should an evacuation order be called while separated.
– Pack essential items such as government-issued ID, medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (such as insurance, credit and mortgage information), immediate care needs for dependents and, if time and space permits, keepsakes for quick departure.
– Prepare to move disabled persons, children and/or neighbours, if assistance is needed.
– Prepare to take pets with you and move livestock to a safe area (if possible).
– Arrange transportation for all your household.
– Fill gas tanks of all personal vehicles.
– Arrange accommodation for all members of the residence, if possible.
– Wait for an evacuation order to be issued before evacuating and monitor for information of an evacuation order and location of reception centres.
Aggressive fire behaviour was noted over the weekend for many of the Interior’s bigger wildfires, causing thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes or placed on alert.
The Sparks Lake wildfire was no different as crews observed an increase in fire behaviour on the northeast corner of the fire, in the vicinity of Bonaparte Park towards the DOB. This corner of the fire was fuelled by strong winds which helped it to reach the Jamieson Forest Service Road near Dunsapie Lake, according to the BC Wildfire Service. An order to evacuate was issued by the TNRD for properties east of Bonaparte Lake on Aug. 15.
Personnel are assessing the area for locations for heavy equipment to establish contingency lines to the northeast. Controlled ignition opportunities are also being assessed by crews.
Currently, there are 116 firefighters, 7 helicopters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment on site of the wildfire. There are 94 structural protection personnel that are shared within the Sparks Lake complex.