Fighting fire with fire is planned today, Thursday, August 3 for some of the wildfires within the Cariboo Fire Centre.
BC Wildfire Service Fire Information Officer Mike McCulley explains.
“We do use controlled burning constantly on our operations. Our crews do small scale hand burning pretty regularly through the day, but we do know today in fact we are going to be doing some burning on the White Lake Fire. On the northeastern side of that fire, our crew does have a slightly larger burn off operation planned for today.”
McCulley says they will proceed with that if the conditions allow and they can do it safely.
“It’s one of the most effective suppression techniques we have frankly. Anytime time you can use fire to remove fuel between your guard lines or a community and ahead of the fire, it’s very effective. We have fire behaviour analysts, meteorologists, and fuel specialists that help us determine when the conditions might be just right. We also have crews that come in behind these fires and try to mop them up and hold them out.”
Cews today according to McCulley will continue to focus on trying to get control lines around all edges of these fires.
He says they have been making progress and that in the last few days the weather has been good in terms of wind. Unfortunately, however, it continues to be hot and dry, and hot temperatures equal higher fire behavior.
“We’re certainly on high alert. We know that the forecast is for continued hot, dry weather with very low humidity and possibly some increase in winds so our crews will be watching that closely and adjusting their operations accordingly.”
Controlled burns when weather conditions permit are also being planned for the Elephant Hill Fire near Ashcroft.
The BC Wildfire Service says the fire perimeter to the north has crossed the Bonaparte River, and that within the fire perimeter there are still pockets of dry fuels that have not burned which can ignite when winds change direction sending embers into the unburned fuels within and outside of the fire perimeter.
“We are seeing this behavior in several areas of the fire,” said the Service. “The most effective way to eliminate this effect is to burn off these fuels in a controlled manner when weather conditions permit.”
The Elephant Hill fire as of today is an estimated 93,100 hectares