By CASTANET STAFF
Weather is still a major factor in the fight against a 500-hectare wildfire south of Lytton.
B.C. Wildfire Service says the fire did grow overnight due to strong winds in the area, but has decreased in intensity since.
“Currently the fire conditions have decreased to Rank 1 and Rank 2 fire behaviour, but with temperatures rising and wind picking up this afternoon, it is likely to see some flare-ups. Smoke and flame will continue to be visible from surrounding areas,” the wildfire service noted.
There is no current containment on the active blaze.
The fire was sparked Wednesday near the CN works yard and its rapid growth prompted evacuation orders for properties on the west side of the river.
The Lytton First Nation has issued an evacuation alert for 17 homes and an evacuation order for nine homes.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for 24 homes and an evacuation order for two homes.
“Structural Protection Units are onsite of the South Spencer Road wildfire,” the wildfire service added. “Sprinklers and protection kits are being placed near homes within the evacuation area. At this time the fire is moving away from structures.”
The area of the evacuation alert has been expanded to include the entire area between the CN Rail train bridge in Lytton north to the Stein River.
The village itself is not threatened.
Cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to be human caused.
Fire information officer Max Birkner said a crew of 80 firefighters, five helicopters, five pieces of heavy equipment and two air tankers are battling the blaze.