When Mike Tremblay heard the Six Mile fire was nearing his parents’ property, he sped from his place in the Junction to see how he could help. By mid afternoon he was hauling firewood down the hill as sheet-like walls of smoke ascended behind him.
“My family has been here sixty years and we’ve never been threatened by a fire like this before,” he said.
“The smoke came quite far down the hillside, and I saw all these great photos on Facebook. It’s kind of hard to do the speed limit when you’re driving out to your childhood home to see what’s going on.”
Other family members helped the Tremblays relocate their belongings. Tremblay said he’s bringing water for his parents because their creek now has a “smoky flavour”.
Speaking to the Star at approximately 12:15, Tremblay expressed optimism that the fire would continue to spread over the ridge towards Duhamel and away from the residences along Highway 3A.
Though plumes of smoke continued to billow skyward, it seemed like the fire was sizzling out after multiple hits of retardant from fire crews.
As of 10:42 a.m. BC Wildfire said there are currently 25 firefighters on the scene and a full response was underway using helicopters and air tankers.
“There’s definitely a lot of helicopter and plane support, so that’s great,” said Tremblay.
Beside Highway 3A, cyclist Kevin Berduco was standing watching the fire’s progress.
“It’s been creeping down. It seems to be about halfway now, into this little valley. You got to feel for these people. Let’s hope they get on top of this before their homes get hit, because they’re surrounded by a pretty big fire load.”
At 12:30 p.m., the RDCK confirmed the evacuation alert was still in place and estimated the blaze’s swath had decreased by 30 hectares.
“Ground fire and flight crews, with the aid of water bombers and a tanker, continue to battle the blaze. The fire is approximately 120 hectares in size. Currently, the prevailing winds are moving the fire up the mountain.”
The release said if an evacuation order is issued, emergency personnel will contact impacted residents and notices will be posted.
“The alert will be broadcast on local radio as well as on the RDCK’s Facebook page and website,” it reads.
An emergency operation centre continues to operate at level one. Questions are to be directed to the centre at 1-866-522-7701.