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Firefighters protect building and infrastructure threatened by Bill Nye Mountain fire

Firefighters have warded off flames from the Bill Nye Mountain fire that were threatening a structure along Lazy Lake Road.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire had jumped Lazy Lake Road on Sunday morning due to strong winds on the northwest side of the fire.

By the afternoon crews had successfully protected the buildings and power lines in the area and established new control lines around the extended perimeter. This excursion was estimated to be about 10 hectares in size.

BCWS officials said the excursion is now being held as of Sunday afternoon.

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Fire behaviour has reduced from Saturday evening to a low to moderately vigorous ground fire as of Sunday afternoon.

A planned ignition will take place in the early afternoon or evening on Sunday. The planned ignition will burn up the fuel in the area to help bring the fire under control.

“Due to conditions on site, the ignition will be conducted through aerial operations. An increase in smoke may be visible from the community of Wasa and surrounding areas while this ignition is underway,” said BCWS officials. “Planned ignitions are undertaken by trained and experienced personnel to remove the majority of available fuel ahead of the wildfire so there is less fuel available for the wildfire to burn.”

According to the BCWS, the most recent size estimate may not be totally accurate.

“This wildfire has grown significantly since its size was last updated at 2,591 hectares. Heavy smoke in the area is limiting visibility and the ability to measure the fire’s perimeter” said the BCWS.

60 firefighters, 13 pieces of heavy equipment and three helicopters are being used to fight the blaze.

“Helicopters are bucketing to support control lines around the excursion and will support containment of a planned ignition. Heavy equipment is working on control lines around the excursion; once that is complete, heavy equipment will return to work on control lines and contingency lines along the north flank,” said the BCWS. “BC Hydro has de-energized powerlines along Lazy Lake Road for responder safety as ground crews continue to work nearby.”

The fire was first discovered on Thursday, July 8th, about seven kilometres southeast of Wasa.

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