UPDATE: Juliet Creek wildfire has a quiet day

NowMedia Staff | August 22, 2018 in Wildfire

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(UPDATE: Aug. 22 @ 6:05 p.m.) - BCWS has not reported any change in the wildfire's conditions and the Juliet Creek wildfire remains an estimated 1,238 hectares with 68 personnel and eight units of heavy equipment actioning the fire.

(UPDATE: Aug. 21 @ 10:45 p.m.) - The Juliet Creek wildfire has added some mass over the past few days after smoky conditions hindered mapping from the BCWS.

The fire is now mapped at 1,238 hectares in size; however, the size difference does not reflect a sudden change but the BCWS ability to map the fire after several days.

Additionally, the size record may undergo further change as the visibility of the fire improves.

Crews took their Tuesday to mop up the successful planned ignitions that took place on the northwest and southern flanks of the fire.

There were 68 personnel and 13 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire Tuesday.

An Evacuation Order for the Murray Lake area remains in effect.

(UPDATE: Aug. 20 @ 9:45 p.m.) - Crews continued mop-up operations along the north flank and the Michael Lake area to a 50-foot depth, as well as burning the southern flank supported by hose lays and aviation resources.

BCWS continues to have issues properly mapping the fire but still estimates the fire at 868 hectares based on current visibility. 

No further information is available for this fire.

(UPDATE: Aug. 19 @ 7:35 p.m.) - The Juliet Creek wildfire was the target of planned ignition operations on Sunday.

Both the north-west flank and the southern flank were subjects of planned ignition operations from the BCWS. 

Crews also continue to consolidate containment lines while also mopping up the north flank after the planned ignition operations. 

BCWS is expecting both the understory and slash fuels to burn with high intensity in the coming days with understory fuels being vulnerable to intermittent crowning and torching with short to medium range spotting.

Helicopters were grounded for safety today due to the poor visibility offering less than a half a mile of view for pilots. 

There were 87 personnel and 13 pieces of heavy equipment on the fire Sunday.

(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 7:50 p.m.) - BCWS has recorded no new information on the Juliet Creek fire save the increased resources being added to the fire suppression efforts.

Compared to Friday's 47 personnel and 13 pieces of heavy equipment, there are now 68 personnel and 13 units of heavy equipment enlisted to the wildfire.

Smoke continues to be a factor in the fixed size of the Juliet Creek fire, as documenting the size difference is difficult in low visibility areas shrouded by smoke. 

(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 7:50 p.m.) - Visibility has been a challenge over the past week due to the omnipresent smoke collecting over wildfires. 

BCWS reports that "based on current visibility" the Juliet Creek wildfire is estimated to be 868 hectares, but the size is subject to change as visibility improves. 

Crews are continuing to establish hose lay and mop up around the north side of Michael Lake with heavy equipment working to establish anchor points along the south and eastern perimeter of the fire. 

In preparation for planned ignitions, crews will continue to consolidate control lines around the fire.

Juliet Creek's wildfire was actioned by 47 personnel and 13 units of heavy equipment throughout Friday with assistance from helicopters bucketing the area.

An Evacuation Order, as issued on August 11, remains in effect.

(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 9:50 a.m.) - The Juliet Creek wildfire has not seen any growth in the past couple days. The size estimate did increase yesterday due to better mapping and visibility and is currently listed at 868 hectares.

Nicole Bonnet, fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, says that conditions have been good at the scene, although it does tend to heat up in the afternoons. Despite this, crews are doing a good job of managing it and there are helicopters working on bucketing when needed.

Today there are 47 personnel and 13 pieces of heavy equipment at the fire working on building control lines. 

(UPDATE: Aug 16 @ 1:22 p.m.) - The Juliet Creek wildfire is estimated at 868 hectares based on current visibility.

The size may change as visibility improves, says the BC Wildfire Service.

Crews will continue to establish hose lay and mop up around the north side of Michael Lake. Heavy equipment will be continuing to establish anchor points along the south and eastern perimeter of the fire. Additionally, crews will be continuing control lines around the head of the fire.

There are 68 personnel and 13 pieces of heavy equipment on scene. Helicopters will be providing bucketing support where needed.

(UPDATE: Aug. 14 @ 2:20 p.m.) - The Juliet Creek wildfire remains at 817.5 hectares, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Heavy equipment continue to construct guards around the fire today, with ground crews being utilized to identify an anchor point on the east side of the fire.

Ground crews are also working the head of the fire, which is being bucketed by helicopters.

Danger tree assessors and fallers are still onsite assisting and supporting ground crews.

There are 45 personnel, six pieces of heavy equipment and air support as needed, including the aforementioned helicopters, battling this blaze.

(UPDATE: Aug. 13 @ 3:40 p.m.) -  The fire remains under the watchful eye of an Incident Management Team in Merritt, with 21 personnel, 10 units of heavy equipment and two water tenders on-site being assisted by air support when needed.

Among the crews were Danger Tree Assessors and Fallers units.

The fire has grown from the previously estimated 600 hectares to 817.6 hectares, which is based on current visibility. 

Fire expansion will be difficult to track over the next several days, says Nicole Bonnett, Fire Information Officer, due to the smoky skies which are inhibiting aerial visibility. 

On Sunday, a southern anchor point was established and control lines were identified with heavy equipment commencing construction along the southern flank eastwards along the fire perimeter.

A helicopter landing site was also identified to be established on Sunday.

On Monday, crews are working to construct guards around the fire with personnel searching for an anchor point at the eastern head of the fire. Helicopters were designated to bucket the head of the fire as well.

(UPDATE: Aug. 12 @ 1:41 p.m.) - An incident management team, which was at the Placer Mountain Complex will be taking over this fire today. They will be assessing all possible response options.

The fire is still listed as 600 hectares, however, the BC Wildfire Service says that the estimated size of this fire has not been updated today because of the heavy smoke in the area that has reduced visibility.

They also said that the heavy smoke due to a weather inversion is reducing visibility and impacting operations this morning. 

The evacuation order for properties in the Murray Lake area that were issued yesterday are still in effect. 

(UPDATE: August 11 @ 5:45 p.m.) - Residents in properties near the Juliet Creek wildfire were upgraded to an Evacuation Order this afternoon. 

The TNRD issued an Evacuation Alert to several properties in the vicinity of Murray Lake on Friday which progressed to an Evacuation Order on Saturday afternoon.

"It's basically threatening some properties that are out there. However, most of the properties that we're aware of are recreational or vacation type homes so we're not aware of actually how many people are actually in the area right now," explained Michelle Nordstrom, EOC Information Officer.

"There's a potential for it to threaten structures in the area, obviously depending on the direction of the wind and the growth of that fire, so there is that potential."

Murray Lake communities are being threatened by the Juliet Creek wildfire, which is still recorded at 600 hectares but is expected to grow due to the "extreme fire behaviour," said Brenna Ward, Fire Information Officer. 

The fire is currently inoperable with no checkpoints to work from. An Incident Management team has been assigned to the Juliet Creek wildfire to deal with the fire and will be transitioning to the wildfire on Saturday. 

Juliet Creek wildfire was also added to the Kamloops Fire Centre's Fires of Notes on Saturday afternoon.

(Original Story: August 10 @ 9:22 p.m.)

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) issued an Evacuation Alert for properties near Murray Lake on Friday evening.

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Residents of properties bordering Murray Lake, located on the edge of the Kamloops Fire Centre along Hwy 5 between Hope and Merritt, are being ordered to prepare to leave if required due to a nearby wildfire.

The wildfire in question, Juliet Creek, is estimated to be 600-hectares in size and "poses an imminent threat to people and property in its vicinity," reads the TNRD statement.

There are currently no resources enlisted to the Juliet Creek wildfire as BCWS assesses how to best respond to it.

"At this point . . . we are having that resource stretch so it is a matter of prioritizing fires as for where we put our resources," explains Brenna Ward, Fire Information Officer for the Kamloops Fire Centre, noting the fire remains quite a distance from homes.

"Because we do have so many fires that are directly threatening people and property, that ones that are not threatening are less priority right now."

NowMedia will update this story as it develops. 

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