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Nohomin Creek wildfire grows to 2,220 hectares, crews work to save heritage park

The blaze burning near Lytton has destroyed at least six structures
BC Wildfire initial attack crews establish hose moving upwards along a steep slope. (BC Wildfire)

As the Nohomin Creek wildfire, northwest of Lytton grew to more than 2,220 hectares on Thursday, crews were able to mop up a spot blaze that threatened the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park.

BC Wildfire placed 1,500 feet of sprinklers and fire hose along the Stein Valley walking path, allowing for crews to mop up a 1.3-hectare blaze, that sparked on July 17. By end of day Thursday, firefighters found no heat emanating from that spot blaze. The work along the Stein Valley walking path is complete for the time being.

“A coordinated approach in the response and protection of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park will continue to be a priority for Lytton First Nation, BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service. A representative from Lytton First Nation, who specializes in archeological site and cultural values is working with structure protection specialists and crews to identify cultural values and provide guidance and recommendations on the best options for protection of those values,” stated BC Wildfire.

Lytton First Nation crews continue working around the structures in the neighbourhoods on both the north and south sides of the Stein Valley.

BC Wildfire Service reported that updated aerial mapping was taken on July 21, giving crews a better estimate of the size of the blaze.

Environment Canada is forecasting hot dry conditions over the next few days mixed with lower relative humidity, which could allow fire behaviour to increase, creating potentially volatile conditions.

According to BC Wildfire, crews have been challenged by extremely steep terrain. Containment lines have been built by ground crews on the south, east and north flanks of the fire, with the support of helicopters bucking water.

However, while the south, east and north regions of the blaze exhibit minimal fire activity, the west and north side of the Stein Valley actively burn, stated BC Wildfire. This is due to the steep terrain on the north side, which is inoperable for fire crews.

Vehicle traffic into the wildfire area along the west side of the Fraser Canyon is now limited to wildfire crews and local area residents between Texas Creek Road/Spencer Road at the 20.5km mark south of Lillooet and the Lytton footbridge.

Lytton First Nation and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District have issued evacuation orders and alerts for numerous properties. Emergency Support Services (ESS) are available in Lillooet and Cache Creek, with more than 30 residents having to seek refuge in Cache Creek after Lillooet reported having no more available space.

The Nohomin Creek wildfire, first discovered on July 14, remains out of control with six residences confirmed to be destroyed and numerous outbuildings lost.

READ MORE: Crews fighting Nohomin Creek fire near Lytton prepping for incoming hot stretch

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Black Press Media Staff

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