Wildfire crews will monitor Bishop Meadow Ranch overnight after the Flat Lake wildfire jumped a guard Sunday afternoon near the family property on Bullock Lake Road.
Rosalie MacAulay, information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, said structure protection units have initiated pumps for the sprinklers while “we had helicopters in there bucketing around the residences.”
No structures were lost as a result of the fire, which is now estimated to have grown to 15,838 hectares, based on the last tracking, MacAuley said. However, she noted it has been difficult to track the fire by air because of the smoke.
“Night operations are in there to monitor the operations,” she said. “At this time the pumps have been initiated for the sprinklers.”
Earlier in the day, structural protection crews set up units in the area, west of Highway 97, after the fire started moving toward Cunningham Lake, about 10 km northwest of 70 Mile.
BC Wildfire had been considering planned aerial ignitions for the southeast flank of the Flat Lake fire, south of Bishop and Eighty-Three Lakes, on Sunday afternoon, but that didn’t happen, MacAulay said.
Chani Dickson, who lives on the ranch with her mom Leslie Dickson and Dave Cunningham, told the Free Press Friday that 20 friends and family have been working all week to wet down the property in order to save it. Cunningham and his brothers grew up on what she called “the old homestead.”
Cunningham and others were building guards around the 320-acre property, Dickson said, while they all took turns staying up overnight “on spark watch.”
There are currently 35 firefighters, 12 helicopters, 64 pieces of heavy equipment in place, in addition to the structural protection personnel.
About 1,074 properties from Flat Lake-Green Lake North remain on evacuation order. The District of 100 Mile House and some properties on Horse Lake Road, Sheridan Lake and in Lone Butte are also on alert due to the wildfire, 27 kilometres southwest of 100 Mile. An additional 50 properties, mostly north of Horse Lake, were put on evacuation alert Saturday afternoon.
Late Saturday afternoon, an additional evacuation order was issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District for properties in the Bonaparte Plateau region, near Gustafsen and Neilson lakes.