WILDFIRE – Juniper Ridge threatened overnight but homes saved

Sparks Lake fire earlier this week. (Image: BC Wildfire Service)

Fire struck close to home last night (July 1, 2021) as lightning ignited two fires in the hills below Juniper Ridge. The fire spread rapidly and threatened homes on both the upper and lower flanks, resulting in tactical evacuations of parts of Valleyview and Juniper Ridge.

This morning, the fire was listed as under control, pending an air assessment by BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). At about 8:30 a.m. the City announced the evacuation order for Capilano Drive and Nechako Drive were rescinded.

The terrain is steep and varied which makes firefighting difficult, especially throughout the night, a City news release said today.

“The communication and collaboration between KFR, RCMP, BCWS, and the City of Kamloops Emergency Operations Centre has been integral in ensuring successful safe evacuations, safety of responders, and fire suppression.”

No structures have been lost in the fire, officials said. “An initial count identified 400 homes saved on the immediate fire perimeter, valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The number of lives saved is priceless.”

Kamloops Fire Rescue and BC Wildfire Service will continue to action hot spots on the fire today with the addition of air assets from BC Wildfire Service.

Meanwhile, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District said the Kamloops reception centre is at full capacity, and asked evacuees from wildfires around the region to divert to Chilliwack and report to the Emergency Support Services reception centre at the secondary school there, or stay with friends or family.

An evacuation order was issued for an area north of Lytton last night as fire threatened structures.

The fire that destroyed most of Lytton Wednesday night remains out of control, according to the BC Wildfire Service. Close to 50 firefighters were battling the fire.

At Sparks Lake in the Red Lake area, the wildfire grew to 20,000 hectares as of Thursday. Almost 100 firefighters along with helicopters and heavy equipment have been fighting that one.

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4 Comments on WILDFIRE – Juniper Ridge threatened overnight but homes saved

  1. Kudos to all who worked the fire .. and to the RCMP, CO’s, and other emergency personnel .

    A big fat GOOSE EGG to the City of Kamloops however, who have failed time and again to ensure a 2nd exit from the west end of Juniper Ridge. When it was proposed, the Benchlands were to have included a new road down the hill, but the city gave it up for (if memory serves me right) some useless silt hillside for a supposed park.

    With where the fire was, hundreds of lives could have been lost as traffic was JAMMED, basically in gridlock, with 2 lanes of vehicles trying to exit headed east on Quappelle trying to get to Highland Drive. IF the fire had flared and jumped Capilano, every single vehicle would have been trapped in the ensuing inferno …with the occupants inside causing a massive stampede which would have seen people trampled!

    I’m sick of the city beautifying roads — how about instead they actually maintain what we have — AND ensure the long overdue Juniper east exit is built.

    NO MORE EXCUSES — just build the damn road!!

    • Apologies for the error …the 2nd exit is REQUIRED in the EAST end of the subdivision, not the west end where there is already access to Rose Hill road

    • The situation was dire and all involved did a great job. Thank you and well done.

      The folks who bought property in Juniper knew full well of the “one way out” road. This has been talked about for years. So please don’t rant and rave about the city not doing anything. It is up to us to make city council accountable and to get things done.

      Remember when the Kamloops Citizens voted down the implementation of water meters on a legal referendum. The city leaders at the time didn’t like what the majority of the Kamloopians said and did what they wanted. I bet you have a water meter?

      The members on city council represent and reflect the people who voted for them. If people don’t vote then I think they have no say how the city is run even though they pay taxes.

      If the people of juniper thought that the second exit was really important and essential. I would have thought that would be their number one election issue with the city council candidates. Or they would have lobbied the city hard with local petitions, social media items, letter writing and attending city council meetings in numbers to lobby council.The squeaky well gets the grease.

      Unfortunately apathy is a sign of the times and with a 30.01% voter turnout for 2018 Kamloops General election you get what you get.

      You sound like the person to head up the juniper resident lobby group or to be a candidate for. City council.

      I am glad this time all we went well for the folks of Juniper.

      This road won’t be built by city council it will be built by you and the citizens of Kamloops.

      Keep Safe


  2. Jennie Stadnichuk // July 2, 2021 at 10:59 AM // Reply

    Many thanks to all the Firefighting groups that helped get the Juniper / Valleyview fire under control. I live on Thompson Drive (only a few blocks from the blazing hills). It was terrifying to watch the walls of fire moving down the ravines from Juniper to Valleyview Drive. I am now aware of the importance of having an “emergency pack” ready to go should such a situation arise again. We were far too close for comfort. Thank you again for all the hard work the firefighting crews performed so arduously on our behalf.

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