Heffley Louis-Creek Road wildfire sparks anxiety for nearby residents

By Vanessa Ybarra
July 27, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: July 28, 2017 - 2:24pm

WHITECROFT, B.C. — It's a sight Lori McLean has been keeping a close eye on for the last 24 hours.

"We're pretty confident they're hitting it pretty hard," said McLean.  "It's far enough away from the community, so we're just keeping an eye on it."

At least two helicopters and half a dozen water bombers could be seen flying over McLeans home in Whitecroft Thursday.

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Air fire fighters continuously doused the Heffley Louis-Creek Road wildfire burning just outside the community.

"I've started to pack up a few things just to be prepared," said McLean. "We have horses outside our property so just making precautions so if we have to go somewhere for a few days we will."

While the fire saw some growth Wednesday night, officials say it remains relatively small at just over one hectare.

"There are currently no structures threatened at this time," said Justine Hunse, Fire Information Officer with the Kamloops Fire Centre. "Since this morning BC Wildfire Service has had air support both in the form of air tankers dropping retardent around the perimeter as well as skimmers working to cool hot spots in the area."

The blaze didn't pose a threat to homes such as Jim Davies who lives ten minutes outside of Whitecroft, however it wasn't without its stresses when it initially broke out.

"We did not know at that time where the fire was," said Davies. "The first indication we had that there was a fire in our immediate area was when the water bombers started picking water up in Heffley Lake."

Davies was especially anxious given Heffley Creek residents are responsible for supplying their own fire protection.

"We have a community of volunteers that have fire fighting equipment that if there is a fire that breaks out in our immediate area, we'll do what we can with our pumps and hoses before giving them over to fire officials when they come in," said Davies.

Davies installed a metal roof and stucco siding that's non combustible in an attempt to further protect his home years ago.

As for McLean, she too is taking every precaution possible in the office change the hill top fire spreads including running sprinklers on her lawn all day long.

For her, cautiously optimistic remains the best line of defense.

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