(UPDATE: July 24 @ 4:15 pm) - Crews continue to battle the massive wildfire at Tremont Creek.
According to the BCWS, the blaze is now at 12,061 hectares in size. It is still classified as out of control.
"Wildfire activity continues to be expected to increase in the afternoons in some sections of the fire as hot and dry conditions persist, as well as strong afternoon winds."
With winds continuing to lessen, the BCWS doesn't expect major growth throughout the day.
"Today, crews are continuing to patrol for hotspots and working on the excursion on the southwest corner of the fire. Crews will be supported by aerial resources and heavy equipment to build control lines around the excursion."
"Small scale hand ignitions will be utilized to remove fuel between control lines and the fire perimeter."
NowMedia will update the story when more information is available.
(UPDATE: July 23 @ 11:00 am) – The Tremont Creek wildfire has grown to 12,016 hectares.
Yesterday, crews and structure personnel had a successful day of small scale hand ignitions to prevent hot spots.
These operations were supported by helicopter bucketing and a retardant tanker truck.
“Today crews and structure protection will patrol the area, mop up hot spots and continue to reinforce control lines where possible. Danger tree assessment and falling remains ongoing,” explains BCWS.
Crews continue to work with local ranchers to contain a run in the northeast corner while building a second contingency line and mopping up hotspots.
BCWS says that “structure protection apparatus is installed throughout the township and on the bridge. Structure protection apparatus also remains active on the Barnes Lake Road.”
“Sprinkler activation has been very successful at keeping the fire out of community areas.”
There are 44 firefighters, eight helicopters and 32 pieces of heavy equipment fighting this fire.
Evacuation alerts for the Ashcroft Indian band and the Village of Ashcroft remain in place.
The Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band’s evacuation order also remains in place.
Evacuation orders and alerts issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District are still active for properties in Electoral Area "I" (Blue Sky Country) and Electoral Area "J" (Copper Desert Country.)
(UPDATE: July 22 @ 11:00am): The Tremont Creek wildfire saw significant growth due to afternoon winds yesterday, but an updated estimate on size can't be provided until smoke has lifted and visibility improves. As of now it still remains at an estimated 10,916 hectares.
BC Wildfire Services confirmed that due to the strong winds in the area, they've had to pull back multiple times over the past few days for safety purposes.
Crews were able to conduct aerial and small scale hand ignitions yesterday along the Barnes Lake Road, beginning at the start of Studhorse Road down to Barnes Lake.
Unburnt fuel in this area was burnt to prevent spotting caused by the increased afternoon winds. These planned ignitions were further supported by helicopters providing bucketing support as well as a retardant tanker truck.
There are currently 42 firefighters on scene, working alongside eight helicopters and 27 pieces of heavy equipment, these resources are being shared between the Lytton Creek Complex.
The Ashcroft Fire Department overnighted the incident, and has been working to wet down tie piles. Structure protection was being put up in areas around the tie yard where the fire is anticipated to move down to.
CP Rail has also brought in a hazmat and emergency response officer to assess and secure the rail yard.
Today a line locator and heavy machinery will work to reinforce a guard on the east flank throughout the day and personnel will also be assessing the Guichon FSR for new guard lines, and to start moving equipment to this area.
As of tonight the Sparks Lake team will be taking over the Tremont Creek wildfire.
An evacuation alert remains in place for the Ashcroft Indian Band and the Village of Ashcroft as a precautionary measure.
The Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band has issued an evacuation order, and the TNRD has issued evacuation orders and alerts for properties in electoral area "I" Blue Sky Country, and electoral area "J" Copper Desert Country.
NowMedia will continue to update the story as information is provided.
(UPDATE: July 21 @ 8:30 am) - The Tremont Creek wildfire has more-than-doubled in size over the past 48 hours.
The BC Wildfire Service now estimates the fire, located around 8.5 kilometres southeast of Ashcroft, to be 10,916 hectares and still out of control.
"Due to the persistent hot and dry conditions combined with strong winds on site, fire activity (has) increased," said the BCWS.
"Winds were estimated to be gusting up to 60 kilometers an hour, which lead to increased fire behavior and subsequent increase in rate of spread for this fire."
As a result, BCWS personnel, structure protection teams and heavy equipment had to conduct a tactical withdrawal from the fire and pull back to safety on Sunday.
Crews were able to return to the front line on Monday and patrol the area overnight as they prepare for a difficult week thanks to the expected hot, dry and windy conditions.
The BCWS currently has 43 firefighters, 20 pieces of heavy equipment and six helicopters assigned to this fire.
An evacuation alert remains in place for the Ashcroft Indian Band and the Village of Ashcroft, while the Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band has issued an evacuation order.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has both evacuation orders and alerts in place as well, which you can learn more about here.
(UPDATE: July 19 @ 6:40 am): The Tremont Creek wildfire is now at 5,000 hectares.
Yesterday, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) implemented an Area Restriction Order around the fire.
Read about the order here.
"The size of the Area Restriction reflects the continued need to protect the public in areas where there are ongoing fire suppression activities," BCWS explained.
Read about evacuation orders and alerts related to this fire here.
The fire remains out of control and its cause remains under investigation.
BCWS said hot and dry weather – combined with strong winds – continue to influence the fire.
Crews had previously been forced to pull back equipment due to the increase in fire activity.
The fire is now part of the Lytton Creek Complex fire.
In its latest update, BCWS said it was devoting 40 firefighters, five helicopters and seven pieces of heavy equipment to the blaze.
(UPDATE: July 16 @ 9:45 am): The BC Wildfire Service has provided an updated size estimate on the Tremont Creek wildfire.
The fire, burning around 8.5 kilometres southeast of Ashcroft, is now mapped at 2,120 hectares.
"Hot and dry conditions in combination with strong winds continue to influence fire activity on site," says the BCWS website.
"Yesterday afternoon when winds increased the subsequent increase in fire behaviour resulted in the heavy equipment being pulled back for safety."
Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place, which you can learn more about here.
(UPDATE: July 16 @ 5:45 am): The Tremont Creek wildfire near Ashcroft has remained at 780 hectares.
BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) officials said it remains out of control, however.
An evacuation alert for 50 properties in Electoral Area "I" near Barnes Lake has been upgraded to an order.
Hundreds more properties remain under alert.
To see details about evacuation instructions, click here.
In its latest update, the BCWS said conditions remained hot and dry.
Strong winds are also influencing fire activity.
Firefighters have been forced to pull back heavy equipment due to the danger presented by the wind.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
According to the latest update, there are 23 firefighters and one helicopter battling the fire.
Resources are being shared between all fires in the Lytton Complex, however.
(Original story: July 14 @ 4:53 pm): The Tremont Creek wildfire is now a part of the Lytton Creek Complex, which includes the Lytton Creek and George Road wildfires.
The estimated size of the Tremont Creek is 780 hectares, and it’s approximately eight kilometers southeast of Ashcroft.
BC Wildfire Services has confirmed that the fire has issued an evacuation alert for the Village of Ashcroft and the boundaries surrounding Cache Creek.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has also issued an Evacuation Alert for 50 properties in Electoral Area "I" in Blue Sky Country near Barnes Lake.
The cause of the fire is still under an investigation, and is currently classified as out of control.
Heavy equipment and structure protection teams are on site, and other resources are being shared between the Lytton complex.
The fire experienced growth overnight and the Ashcroft Fire Department responded to provide structure protection support.
NowMedia will provide updates as they are provided.