Firefighters keeping an eye on winds as wildfire near Lytton, B.C. continues to burn

Firefighters tackling a wildfire northwest of Lytton, B.C. say there was minimal fire activity overnight, but they’re keeping an eye for wind gusts on Saturday afternoon.

The Nohomin Creek wildfire has burned at least six residences since it started on Thursday, with dozens of people still on evacuation order in the area.

Authorities in nearby Lillooet told CBC News that 95 people were currently registered for evacuee supports, up from 80 the previous day.

The fire is located on the west side of the Fraser River, 1.7 kilometres outside of the village that was all but destroyed in a fire a year ago.

Streaks of fire are seen behind trees, with a water jet visible.
A photo taken by fire crews shows flames on the west side of the Fraser River on Thursday. (Supplied by Daniel Mundall)

And while it continues to burn over 15 square kilometres — an area four times as large as Stanley Park — the B.C. Wildfire Service says there was minimal growth overnight.

“Fire behaviour was also pretty minimal,” said Nicole Bonnett, a fire information officer, on Saturday morning. “Kind of low to the ground, smouldering … which is really good to see.”

Bonnett says dozens of firefighters, including from the Lytton First Nation, are tackling the fire with the assistance of sprinkler systems and air crews.

She said that crews would be watching for wind activity later on Saturday afternoon. Crews are also watching the forecast for rain, though Bonnett noted that if the rain were minimal, it wouldn’t make much of an impact on current fire activity.

“There was a very small amount of rain, but it didn’t do anything to assist the firefighters,” said Lytton First Nation Deputy Chief John Haugen on Saturday afternoon. “We’re just hoping there’s no extreme wind activity.”

Haugen said up to 10 structures had been torched by the fire, including an empty cabin overnight on Saturday. 

“You have a mixed bag of emotions,” he said. “You have people that are doing all they can to help people, and then you have people that are not able to return home.”

The cause of the fire, which sparked at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, remains unknown.

The Lytton First Nation has issued evacuation orders for multiple reserves as a result of the fire. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has also issued an evacuation order for one part of Electoral Area I.

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