KAMLOOPS — The Nohomin Creek wildfire’s western flank is advancing toward the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park. Lytton First Nation and BC Parks are working together to identify cultural values, sensitive sites, as well as other recreational and ecological values, and the best methods to protect them.
Lytton First Nation and BC Parks acknowledge that fire is natural ecological process which is necessary to maintain a healthy forest and a diversity of plant and animal life.
BC Wildfire Service ground and aerial crews have been working hard to contain the southern, eastern and northern flanks of the Nohomin Creek wildfire, to protect structures within the fire’s vicinity. The western flank of the fire has been growing upslope in steep, inoperable and difficult to access terrain. Responder safety is the number one priority, and this area poses significant safety challenges, thus crews are unable to action the western flank at this time.
The Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park is adjacent to the western flank of the Nohomin Creek wildfire. The park is co-managed by Lytton First Nation and BC Parks who work in partnership to protect the ecological and cultural significance of the Stein River Valley. The Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park has a Fire Management Plan which outlines the course of action to take should a wildfire start or enter the park. The Fire Management Plan identifies the valley bottom, the walking trail and watershed as areas where suppression efforts may be permitted.
The Fire Management Plan for the park highlights the importance of preserving its ecological integrity. Fire suppression tactics that involve the use of heavy equipment and fire retardant from aircraft cannot be utilized. Given the remote, difficult access and priority of firefighter safety portions of this fire will be put under Modified Response. Fire suppression efforts will be limited to the valley bottom to protect park infrastructure, cultural values and the Stein Valley hiking trail where it is possible to do so.
Modified Response is a strategy that uses a combination of suppression techniques to indirectly respond to a wildfire that is not threatening any values or is beneficial to the ecosystem. The wildfire will be closely monitored to ensure it does not threaten any structures, and a plan identifying trigger points for further response will be followed. Resources will remain available to respond to the fire where it is safe to do so and where minimal environmental impacts will result. A coordinated approach in the response and protection of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park will continue to be a priority for Lytton First Nation, BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service.
A warming and drying trend is forecast for the coming week, resulting in fuels drying out and becoming more susceptible to ignition. The fuel load in the area is heavy and as the Nohomin Creek wildfire progresses west, fuels in the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park will be consumed. Large amounts of smoke will be emitted and intense wildfire behaviour may be observed.
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Lytton First Nation
Parks and Protected Area Section Head
Fire Information Officer
BC Wildfire Service
Nohomin Creek wildfire