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100 firefighters arrive from Quebec to assist at wildfire near Westwold

A fire camp is being set up nearby.
Retardant line at White Rock Lake wildfire near Westwold.

More help is arriving for the White Rock Lake wildfire burning between Westwold and Merritt.

In a Saturday night update, the BC Wildfire Service says fire behaviour increased in the Salmon Lake Road area yesterday.

Airtankers were used to lay retardant in the area in an effort to reduce fire activity. The fire also continued to move down slope on the north and northeast flanks.

Ground crews continue to reinforce machine guard lines by removing fuel between the guard and the fire.

Meanwhile, a fire camp is being set up at Salmon Lake Resort.

One hundred firefighters and 13 support staff from Quebec will arrive at the Okanagan Complex today. They will be staying in the camp and will be assigned to the White Rock fire. They will be briefed and oriented today and should be working on the fire by Monday, the wildfire service says.

On the ground, heavy equipment is being used to construct large, cleared areas at regular intervals along the guard lines. The "safe zones" provide crews and equipment a safe place to take shelter in if fire behaviour should suddenly increase.

A ground-based retardant unit reinforced guard lines Saturday, and four helicopters were bucketing water to cool and slow the spread of the fire.

The fire has burned an estimated 8,702 hectares and remains out of control.