RCMP and fire crews discuss plans for the Monte Lake wildfire. Image credit: Tony Butler

UPDATE: Monte Lake wildfire 30 per cent contained

RCMP on scene say the winds are calm in the area and the highway may open today

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

The Martin Mountain wildfire near Monte Lake remains at 30 per cent contained and 150 hectares.

The blaze is reportedly still out of control.

BC Wildfire Service ground crews and air support are currently working on continuing to establish containment around the perimeter of this fire.

Currently there are 66 firefighters, two helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment working this fire.

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UPDATE: 12:11 p.m.

The Monte Creek wildfire is now 30 per cent contained.

BC Wildfire Officials remain on scene with 25 firefighters, two pieces of heavy equipment, four water tenders, and three skimmers.

Information officer Max Birkner says they are prepared to call in helicopters and more crew if needed.

“It’s hot here but the winds have been in our favour today, and we were lucky to not get a lot of wind last night.”

He remains positive about gaining further containment today; however there is concern that afternoon winds could pick up in the area.

Overnight 31 firefighters remained on scene battling the blaze to help gain containment.

It’s still not clear if any structures were lost.

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UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.

DriveBC reports Highway 97 has reopened to single-lane alternating traffic. Motorists are being told to expect long delays.

The Martin Mountain wildfire just north of Monte Lake has grown to 150 hectares in size.

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UPDATE: 9 a.m.

The Martin Mountain wildfire just north of Monte Lake has grown to 150 hectares in size.

Fire Information Officer Max Birkner says 31 firefighters were working on the blaze overnight and they plan to bring in further assistance this morning.

“We are planning to bring in more firefighters today depending on the need, as well as aircraft,” says Birkner.

A RCMP officer on scene also said that fire is considered a smouldering ground fire and that officials are hoping to reopen Highway 97 today.

Birkner says it is too early to confirm the RCMP comment, but noted that it is looking good and fire and water crews are canvassing the highway to check for safe passage.

An evacuation order and alert has been issued for about 60 properties in the Monte Lake area.

The fire is suspected to be human caused. Multiple reports on social media indicate a witness saw someone flick a cigarette out the window.

Darcy Galbraith wrote on Facebook that she saw the fire start, which she believes came from a flicked cigarette a few cars in front of her.

She said they stopped and called 911 before attempting to put out the blaze themselves with water from the car, but the fire took off up the hill.

“How do people not have enough sense to not flick your butt out the window? I wish I saw which vehicle did it,” wrote Galbraith.

More to come.

Send in your news tips, photos and video by clicking on the ‘Contact’ tab at the top of the page.

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UPDATE: JULY 27 5:46 A.M.

Highway 97 remains closed in both directions at Monte Lake because of the wildfire.

Detours are available via Highway 1, Highway 97B, Highway 97A and Salmon River Road. The estimated time of the road reopening is not available.

RCMP have set up a blockade northbound near the Hillside Store.

A police officer on scene tells us the winds are calm in the area and the fire has grown to 120 hectares overnight.

A official morning fire update is expected by the BC Wildfire Service at about 9 a.m. When crews signed off last night, they stated the fire was estimated to be about 100 hectares in size.

Thirty-one firefighters were on scene to fight the blaze, which fire officials previously said was showing aggressive behaviour due to the hot weather and high winds.

A tactical evacuation order and an extended alert are in place for threatened structures in the Monte Lake area. Full details below.

Send in your news tips, photos and video by clicking on the ‘Contact’ tab at the top of the page.

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UPDATE: JULY 26 at 9:30 p.m.

The evacuation alert from the Monte Lake area fire has been expanded to include a total of 58 properties, in an update from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

The following properties are currently on evacuation alert:

  • 3526, 3529, 3569, 3602, 3640, 3668, 3800, 3866, 3872, 3876, 3884, 3886, 3896, 3900, 3919, 3920, 3924, 3925, 3930, 3931, 3937, 3943, 3951, 3955, 3961, 3962, 3967 Hwy 97
  • 3665, 3675, 3715, 3787, 3822, 3859, 3862 Mill Rd
  • 3706, 3711, 3712, 3716, 3720, 3721, 3728, 3754, 3800, 3903 Monte Lake Rd
  • 4088, 4319, 4401, 4481, 4547, 4548, 4622, 4623, 4649, 4676 Paxton Valley Rd
  • 4294 Strong Rd
  • 5469, 5525, 5535 Westlund Rd

“An evacuation alert has been issued to prepare you to evacuate your premises and property should it be found necessary. Residents will be given as much advance warning as possible prior to the evacuation; however you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions,” says a news release from the TNRD.

An evacuation order is also in effect for several properties along Highway 97, Kristianson Rd. and Paxton Valley Rd.

Properties currently under evacuation are:

  • 3847, 3851, 3865, 3871, 3875, 3877, 3885, 3889, 3901, 3907, 3913 Hwy 97
  • 4120, 4121, 4205, 4225, 4249 Kristianson Rd
  • 3928, 3929, 3938, 3941, 3964, 3965, 4025, 4080, 4105, 4108, 4124, 4125, 4146, 4164,
  • 4178, 4188, 4198, 4199, 4212, 4242, 4264, 4265, 4278 Paxton Valley Rd

Those properties are asked to leave their house with necessities immediately and turn off all gas and electricity.

See the TNRD’s map of the updated evacuation order and alert below.

Send in your news tips, photos and video by clicking on the ‘Contact’ tab at the top of the page.

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UPDATE: 9 p.m.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says the Monte Lake fire is continuing to burn at around 100 hectares in size.

Thirty-one firefighters are on scene to fight the blaze, which fire officials previously said was seeing aggressive behaviour due to the hot weather and high winds.

Along with the ground crew, a wildfire spokesperson said the service had “many air assets” out on the blaze, though he believed they will be soon retiring for the evening.

As noted in a previous update, a tactical evacuation order and an alert are in place for threatened structures in the Monte Lake area.

Wildfire officials expect another update to come in at around 10:30 p.m.

Send in your news tips, photos and video by clicking on the ‘Contact’ tab at the top of the page.

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UPDATE: 8 p.m.

The wildfire burning near Monte Lake is now estimated at 100 hectares in size and is continuing to spread.

Hot weather and high winds are causing issues for those battling the blaze.

There is currently more than 30 forestry crew members on site along with air tankers.

A tactical evacuation order and alert is in place (see previous update below), as structures are threatened.

Evacuation Order for Electoral Area L "Grasslands" (Monte Lake Area) http://bit.ly/2h4j8id

Posted by Thompson-Nicola Regional District on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.

An evacuation order and alert has been issued for the Monte Lake area.

“A rapidly moving wildfire currently located in Electoral Area “L” is threatening properties in Monte Lake,” writes the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Because of the potential danger to life and health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has ordered everyone to evacuate the following properties immediately:

  • 3847, 3851, 3865, 3871, 3875, 3877, 3885, 3889, 3901, 3907, 3913 Hwy 97
  • 4120, 4121, 4205, 4225, 4249 Kristianson Rd
  • 3928, 3929, 3938, 3941, 3964, 3965, 4025, 4080, 4105, 4108, 4124, 4125, 4146, 4164,
  • 4178, 4188, 4198, 4199, 4212, 4242, 4264, 4265, 4278 Paxton Valley Rd

Additionally, all properties located within the red Evacuation Order area, as shown on the attached map.

“If you are in the described area, you must leave immediately. It is suggested that evacuees shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers. If you have large animals/livestock in need of shelter, please contact the TNRD EOC at 1-866-377-7188.”

If you require support services such as food and accommodation please register at the Sandman Centre at 300 Lorne Street, Kamloops, BC.

The evacuation alert is in effect for the following properties:

  • 3526, 3529, 3569, 3602, 3640, 3668, 3800, 3866, 3872, 3876, 3884, 3886, 3896, 3900, 3919, 3920, 3924, 3925, 3930, 3931, 3937, 3943, 3951, 3955, 3961, 3962, 3967 Hwy 97
  • 3665, 3675, 3715, 3787, 3822, 3859, 3862 Mill Rd
  • 3706, 3711, 3712, 3716, 3720, 3721, 3728, 3754, 3800, 3903 Monte Lake Rd
  • 4088, 4319, 4401, 4481, 4547, 4548, 4622, 4623, 4649, 4676 Paxton Valley Rd
  • 4294 Strong Rd
  • 5469, 5525, 5535 Westlund Rd

“An evacuation alert has been issued to prepare you to evacuate your premises and property should it be found necessary. Residents will be given as much advance warning as possible prior to the evacuation; however you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.”

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UPDATE: 7:19 p.m.

The wildfire burning near Monte Lake is now estimated at 60 hectares in size and is continuing to spread.

Hot weather and high winds are causing issues for those battling the blaze.

There is currently 31 forestry crew members on site along with air tankers.

A tactical evacuation is currently taken place for homes in the area, as structures are threatened.

BC Wildfire Service says the blaze is burning away from Highway 97 and is flames are moving into the trees.

There is currently no cause for the fire.

Check back for updates.

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UPDATE: 6:20 p.m.

BC Wildfire service is responding to a blaze on Martin Mountain, located East of Kamloops and North of Monte Lake.

The fire is estimated at 30 hectares in size and both air support and ground crews are on scene.

The winds are picking in the area causing serious concerns for firefighters.

Those on social media are reporting heavy smoke blowing into the Barnhartvalle area of Kamloops.

A local State of Emergency has been declared for the Monte Lake area.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued the state of emergency at 6:17 p.m.

“A state of local emergency exists in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Electoral Area “L” (Grasslands) due to the Monte Lake fire, potentially resulting is severe impact of the local economy and the well being of the community,” reads the document below.

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Highway 97 is closed in both directions near Paxton Valley Rd at Monte Lake due to Forest Fire.

According to reports the blaze broke out about 5 p.m. close to the Hiwan Ranch.

Those on social media are reporting smoke and flame in the grass close to the road.

Early reports indicate BC Wildfire is on scene with air support.

More to come.

Monte Lake EvacuationOrder Jul 26-17 1900 by Carmen Weld on Scribd

Monte Lake Evacuation Alert July 26-17 1900 by Carmen Weld on Scribd

Sole Ea l July 26 , 2017 by Carmen Weld on Scribd

 

RCMP and fire crews discuss plans for the Monte Lake wildfire. Image credit: Tony Butler

RCMP members continue to block off Highway 97 Thursday morning due to the Monte Lake wildfire. Image credit: Tony Butler RCMP members continue to block off Highway 97 Thursday morning due to the Monte Lake wildfire. Image credit: Tony Butler

Image Credit: Twitter - @SbredsFarm

RCMP members continue to block off Highway 97 Thursday morning due to the Monte Lake wildfire. Image credit: Tony Butler