The Ross Moore Lake wildfire is burning in a northeast direction from its source, having moved from 24 kilometres south of Kamloops to 13 km as of Saturday evening, July 22
The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) is now classifying the Ross Moore Lake wildfire as a fire of note, meaning it is highly visible or poses a threat to public safety.
The blaze has grown to an estimated 700 hectares in size and is burning northeast from its source, now just 13 kilometres south of Kamloops, according to the BCWS.
The BCWS continues to respond to the fire, located between Highway 5 and 5A.
According to the wildfire service, dry, hot and windy conditions have influenced fire activity on the fire Saturday afternoon, July 22. Smoke from the wildfire is highly visible to the City of Kamloops, surrounding communities, Highway 5 and Highway 5A.
The fire has moved 11 kilometres closer to Kamloops since BCWS reports earlier in the day on July 22 listed the fire as 24 kilometres south of town.
The wildfire was discovered Friday afternoon, July 21. It is suspected to be lightning-caused. The fire was reported to be 30 hectares in size Friday afternoon, then reported at 210 hectares on Saturday morning, updated to 350 hectares Saturday afternoon and again to 450 hectares as of 4:00 p.m. It was updated at 700 hectares at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
An initial attack crew, helicopter and heavy equipment task force were responding to the fire on Saturday.
Fire activity in the form of smoke plumes was visible throughout Saturday afternoon. The BC Wildfire Service said the fire is burning with Rank 3 and Rank 4 activity, which it describes as “moderate to highly vigorous surface fire with possible torching or passive crown front.”
The City of Kamloops has an evacuation alert in place for all of Knutsford due to the wildfire.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District meanwhile has an evacuation order in place for a broad area south of Kamloops, east of Highway 5 from Kamloops city limits in the north to Lac Le Jeune in the south, and west of Highway 5A from Knutsford to Trapp Lake, affecting more than 300 properties. Those under evacuation alert should be ready to leave their properties if necessary.
The TNRD also has an evacuation in the middle of that alert area for 49 properties in the following areas of Electoral Area “J” (Copper Desert Country) and Electoral Area “L” (Grasslands).
- 6388 to 6416 Ashley Rd;
- 1848 to 3345 Edith Lake Rd;
- 4180 to 4828 Goose Lake Rd;
- 4188 to 6455 Long Lake Rd;
- 700 to 860 McLeod Lake Rd;
- 5960 to 6381 Weir Rd; and
- as outlined on the attached map
People living in areas under evacuation order should leave immediately and those under evacuation alert should prepare to leave at a moment’s notice.