(UPDATE: July 23 @ 10:00 am) – The Embleton Mountain wildfire continues to burn at an estimated 920 hectares.
The TNRD has rescinded the following evacuation notifications, effective July 22:
148 properties in the Heffley Lake area are now “all clear.”
132 properties in Whitecroft and 7 properties west of Whitecroft have been moved to an evacuation alert.
The Heffley-Louis Creek road remains open to residents only.
The Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality has also rescinded the evacuation alert and all properties have been moved to “all clear” effective July 22 at 7 pm.
Sun Peaks is ready to welcome you back! Sun Peaks will be fully operational this weekend. Lift-access hiking and biking will be available starting this Saturday. Thanks to all the firefighters and community volunteers for the support.https://t.co/qv1BLPnWTb#SunPeaks pic.twitter.com/RZ7EG1jbMY— Sun Peaks Resort (@SunPeaksResort) July 23, 2021
Today, two crews will continue to focus on extinguishing hotspots.
The machine guard and water delivery system were successful in the northeast flank while danger tree assessors and tree fallers will continue working to ensure crew safety.
“Structure protection is in the process of demobbing gear in areas where it is not needed, however, they are still patrolling and available if needed,” explains BCWS.
There are 46 firefighters, three helicopters and two structure protection units, totalling 11 personnel, working on this fire today.
Crews are supported by the Sun Peaks Fire Rescue, 10 pieces of heavy equipment and seven danger tree assessors and fallers.
(UPDATE: July 20 @ 12:30 pm): The Embleton Mountain wildfire is now up to 920 hectares.
The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said an "unexpected wind shift" drove the fire south on Monday.
"Driven by winds, the fire perimeter reached the east, southeast and south control lines," the agency explained.
"As a result, planned ignition operations will no longer be required. On-site today, crews are being assisted by three helicopters to contain all excursions that breached these control lines."
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) issued an evacuation order for an additional seven properties in Electoral Area P (Rivers and the Peaks) on Monday.
Hundreds of other properties remain under evacuation alert or order.
(UPDATE: July 19 @ 8:30 am): Firefighters are looking at using a planned ignition on the Embleton Mountain wildfire – perhaps today.
The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the fire is now at 604 hectares and remains out of control.
Both the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Sun Peaks resort have issued evacuation alerts.
As for the planned ignition, BCWS said that will only go ahead "if conditions on-site are favourable."
The intention is to bring the fire perimeter downslope, giving firefighters safer access.
"Once the fire perimeter makes it down to workable ground for crews, hand ignitions will be used to bring the fire all the way down to containment lines where crews will be ready with water delivery systems to deliver water directly to the fire’s edge," the BCWS explained.
BCWS also warned of the risk of thunderstorms and dry lightning today and Tuesday.
Temperatures, meanwhile, are expected to stay in the 30s.
The Heffley-Louis Creek Road remains open only to residents, employees and property owners traveling to or from properties that are not under evacuation order.
(UPDATE: July 16 @ 10:56 am): The Embleton Mountain wildfire continues to burn out of control.
It's now up to 580 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service (BCWS).
Due to concerns about power lines being inside the fire perimeter, BC Hydro crews will be on site today.
They will be bringing down dangerous trees to aid firefighters, BCWS said.
Firefighters, meanwhile, are working with structure protection experts along the Lower Heffley-Louis Creek Road and the road into Whitecroft.
The fire itself continues to burn in "difficult and steep terrain," BCWS said.
"Unstable slopes and rockslides pose a risk to the safety of our crews," the agency explained.
"Inoperable areas are being monitored closely and helicopters are being utilized to bucket hot spots in problematic areas."
The fire's cause remains under investigation.
According to BCWS's latest update, there are 45 firefighters, one helicopter and nine pieces of heavy equipment at the site.
(UPDATE: July 14 @ 11:18 am): The fire has now grown to 516 hectares.
It remains out of control and BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is still investigating its cause.
Recent growth has been away from Whitecroft, BCWS said.
"Unstable slopes and rockslides pose a risk to the safety of our crews," BCWS said in its latest update.
"Inoperable areas are being monitored closely and helicopters are being utilized to bucket hot spots in problematic areas. Crews are working with the structure protection unit to protect properties and are working along the Heffley-Louis Creek Road to fuel manage the area, as well as working along the Todd Mountain Road."
The Heffley-Louis Creek Road is closed to all except full-time residents travelling to or from their principle residence (as long it is not under anevacuation order).
According to BCWS's latest update, there are 13 firefighters, 18 structure protection personnel, one helicopter and seven pieces of heavy equipment at the site.
(UPDATE: July 13 @ 6:37 am): The Embleton Mountain wildfire has now grown to 466 hectares.
BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said it remains out of control.
The majority of the growth on Monday was on the western side of the fire, the agency explained.
"The fire is burning upslope away from the community," it added.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
In its most recent update last night, the BCWS said 33 firefighters, two helicopters and seven pieces of heavy equipment were at the scene of the fire.
Three personnel from Sun Peaks Fire Rescue remained overnight to monitor the fire, BCWS explained.
The agency added: "The fire is burning in difficult and steep terrain. Unstable slopes and rockslides pose risk to the safety of our crews.
"Inoperable areas are being monitored closely and helicopters are being utilized to bucket hot spots in problematic areas. Crews are working with the structure protection specialist to protect properties and heavy equipment is working along the McClure forest service road (north of the fire) to establish control lines."
(UPDATE: July 12 @ 5:31 am): The Embleton Mountain wildfire has grown.
In its latest update, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said the fire was at 290 hectares.
It remains out of control and has now been upgraded to a wildfire of note by BCWS.
The agency said "aggressive fire behaviour" was on display at the site last night.
Its cause remains under investigation.
Last night, there were 24 firefighters and three helicopters fighting the blaze.
Heavy equipment was also on the site, alongside help from local firefighters.
(Original story: July 11 @ 3:15 pm): Residents in and around Sun Peaks should be aware of a large wildfire spreading quickly in the community.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Embleton Mountain blaze, which started on Thursday, now sits at 143 hectares. It is still classified as "out of control" at this time.
Crews have documented "aggressive fire behaviour." A total of 14 firefighters and four helicopters are currently on-site.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued an Evacuation Order and Alert for Electoral Area 'P' (Rivers and the Peaks).
A structure protection unit has also been called in to save homes.
NowMedia will update the story with more information.