The fire that was first discovered in the White Rock Lake area on July 13 is now the only fire remaining on the BC Wildfire Service ‘Wildfires of Note’ page.

Cooler weather and some precipitation recently has seen dozens of BC wildfires taken down off of the Wildfires of Note list, which are fires that are highly visible or pose a potential threat to public safety.

With the east side of the fire located approximately ten-kilometres west of Vernon, the White Rock Lake fire continues to burn at 83,342 hectares, though there are no Evacuation Alerts or Orders remaining in the area.

“Due to significant effort from the BC Wildfire Service and provincial, First Nation, national and international partner agencies, much of the White Rock Lake wildfire (K61884) is Under Control,” reads the BC Wildfire Service’s most recent update at 8:30a.m. on Sept. 13.

However, the entirety of the fire is yet to be listed as Under Control, as the fire burning above the Banks Creek Drainage has not yet burnt its way down to the pre-established control line.

This portion of the fire remains classified as Being Held. BC Wildfire Services warn that residents may still see significant amounts of smoke coming from this area until it reaches the control lines set out by firefighting crews.

It is estimated that some smoke will still be visible for the next four to six weeks, as stumps and root systems within the large fire’s perimeter continue to burn.

Operations Section Chief Andre Chalabi expects that although smoke will be visible, there is no threat of further spread, and that the residual smouldering ground fire is actually beneficial to the local species and ecosystem.

“The fire basically had a mixed severity here, in terms of dynamics of the fire,” said Chalabi. “A lot of areas burnt, and killed a lot of trees, but also other areas had a nice surface fire, which essentially cleaned up the forest floor.

“This mixed severity creates a mosaic that will create openings for animal life travel paths…they will have places where they can bed, and have some thermal cover.”

Chalabi noted that in these less severe burning areas, a lot of the native plant species will be able to come back and thrive over time, some of it as early as the post-ignition period when the first amount of significant precipitation hits.

According to Chalabi, some of the native grasses are already beginning to come up, and are showing signs of life.

It should be noted that a ban on hunting is in effect for the area of this fire.

As of the morning of Sept. 13, 197 wildfires larger than 0.009 hectares continue to burn province-wide.