Saturday morning (July 3, 2021) update from the City of Kamloops on the Juniper-Valleyview wildfire:
The Kamloops East interface fire is classified as under control on Saturday morning.
“We are very happy with what we are seeing right now,” said Kamloops Fire Rescue (KFR) Chief Steve Robinson.
After combined ground and air crew efforts that occurred Friday afternoon, KFR and BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) personnel remained on site overnight Friday to monitor the area. The conditions remained stable throughout the night.
The public can expect to see ground and air operations to continue Saturday in an effort to extinguish hot spots.
Additional fire resources requested from the Province of B.C. on Friday have arrived in Kamloops and will be available to support any further efforts if needed.
These resources include three Structural Protection Units (SPUs), which are trailers equipped with various fire suppression equipment.
SPUs also come with personnel to deploy the equipment, which would allow KFR crews to remain focused on any established fire ground efforts.
Five other municipalities’ fire engines have also arrived in the City, to supplement KFR, should it require more assistance with local ground fire efforts in the coming days. Residents may see these engines driving around getting familiarized with the city.
KFR is thankful for the support from these other municipalities.
The Kamloops East interface fire was sparked in the hills between the Valleyview and Juniper Ridge neighborhoods by lightening on Thursday night. A resulting evacuation order late Thursday night was lifted early Friday morning.
After flare ups were spotted on Friday afternoon, the ground and air crews quickly mobilized to work the area. BCWS had air assets dropping water buckets and fire retardant, and KRF ground crews were further supported by contract crews and auxiliary fire fighters.
Crews de-escalated Friday at 10:30 pm, with seven KFR remaining on site for overnight patrols. Several members of the City’s Civic Operations team also monitored the City’s water flow overnight Friday to ensure an abundant water supply will continue to be available for fire fighting operations.
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will continue operating to support this event.
The City would like to remind all residents to be aware of irrigation usage and requests all residents and businesses to continue ceasing all irrigation in order to protect water supply for the fire crews.
The City also reminds residents to refrain from using the Juniper Dog Park due to the continued operations in the area.
“We understand and acknowledge this time is difficult for everybody and the stress level may be high,” said KFR Chief Robinson.
“The measures we are taking are proactive and not taken lightly. The City of Kamloops is working hard to ensure the safety of our community, and residents’ continued cooperation is recognized and appreciated,” Robinson added.
For updates on this incident, please watch the emergency alerts posted on Kamloops.ca.