After 13 days of burning, the July Mountain fire has expanded to 1,267 hectares and is inching closer to the Coquihalla Highway.
B.C. Wildfire Service says the fire was discovered on July 13 45 kilometres south of Merritt, apparently started by one or more lightning strikes. As of Sunday (July 25), 25 properties in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Electoral Area N remain under an evacuation order with no additional properties on that list.
The fire is classified as out of control and was last estimated to be over 700 hectares. Until Sunday’s update, smoke hindered visibility and made estimating the size and growth of the fire difficult.
The fire is currently one kilometre away from Highway 5; as of publication, it is not an immediate threat. Crews are currently focused on the east flank of the fire to keep it from getting any closer to the highway.
There are 30 firefighters (up 11 from last update), three helicopters and two heavy equipment units (no changes since last update) on the scene. 20 B.C. Wildfire Service personnel and 10 contractors are also on scene to assist.