Update: 7:53 p.m., July 21
A new evacuation alert is in effect for the community of Swansea Point as of 7:51 p.m. Wednesday.
Both sides of Highway 97A north to the District of Sicamous municipal boundary are included in the new alert, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District said in the update.
The district says the Two Mile Creek wildfire is growing and may pose a danger to residents.
Those affected are urged to register with ess.gov.bc.ca and indicate the community as Swansea.
Update: 1:26 p.m., July 21
The Two Mile Road fire south of Sicamous has grown to 400 hectares.
The BC Wildfire Service says the interface fire remains out of control, and it has 36 personnel, two helicopters and additional air support working with local firefighters on the blaze.
Update: 12:41 p.m., July 21
In an update on the fire at Two Mile, the Shuswap Emergency Program says the BC Wildfire Service is optimistic regarding current conditions, and that winds are favourable and the fire is moving northeast and upslope, away from Sicamous.
“Firefighters are all actively fighting the fire at Two Mile Creek and there are no changes to the most recent orders and alerts. There are no expected changes on the alert status for at least the next 24 hours.
Around-the-clock firefighting efforts were successful in controlling the spread of a wildfire burning out of control south of Sicamous, though winds in the forecast are cause for concern.
As of Wednesday morning, July 21, an evacuation order remained in effect for 300 properties, affecting about 1,000 people, as the Two Mile Creek fire continued to burn nearby at an estimated size of 60 hectares.
An evacuation alert continues to be in effect for much of the district north of the evacuation order area up to Highway 1.
According to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), there is currently no risk to any properties in the Swansea Point area.
Fire Chief Brett Ogino said Swansea Point firefighters are working on the blaze from their end, while Sicamous and Malakwa crews are fighting the fire and dealing with structural protection concerns on the north end, all while BC Wildfire Service personnel and aircraft continue their attack.
“Right now we’ve got helicopter operations bucketing the fires and the hot spots where the crews are working,” said Ogino, noting guards set up after the fire started on July 20 appeared to hold overnight.
“They’ve got a guard, a pretty decent one, that held last night above the Sicamous Creek mobile home park, and that’s the area that’s closest to the fire most at risk,” said Ogino. “We’ve got a structural protection sprinkler system set up across that entire area and structure protection crews are continuing to assess and come up with plans for moving further.”
Ogino said the fire is currently being held thanks to crews working through the night, but is concerned with winds in the forecast.
“We’ve been a little lucky with the winds,” said Ogino. “They are talking some pretty gusty winds for this afternoon, up to 50 kilometres per hour, so this is still a very much an out of control fire. The winds are a big concern to us, obviously, but so far, so good.”
Ogino encouraged residents to mindful of firefighting operations, to follow the alerts/orders posted by the CSRD, and asked that boaters keep away from that end of Mara Lake.
“Helicopter operations are in place right now but people really need to stay out of Mara Lake and especially on this end of the lake,” said Ogino. “It limits us if helicopter operations are slowed down even a little bit. It puts crews at risk, and if they decide to bring in skimmer planes, we need that lake clear.”
Highway 97A remains closed south of Sicamous near Mara.
The CSRD encourages residents and remaining visitors to be prepared for evacuation on short notice. Evacuees in need of emergency support services with food are lodging must visit the reception area set uip at Sicamous’ Seniors Drop-in Centre at 1091 Shuswap Avenue, which will remain open until 10 p.m.
Any Sicamous evacuees who need Emergency Support Services with food or lodging MUST come to the Reception Centre IN-PERSON to register. It is located at the Seniors Drop-In Centre, 1091 Shuswap Avenue, Sicamous and will be open tonight until 10 PM and again on July 21 at 8 AM. pic.twitter.com/jKuoOTBErz
— Columbia Shuswap Regional District (@ColShuRegDist) July 21, 2021