Water skimmers were picking up water out of Big Lake to apply it to the top end of the White Lake Fire on Friday, August 4.
“It doesn’t mean that that fire was growing, increasing in size. It simply means that we were trying to cool that area off with the water and allow our ground crews to get in there behind them and do that really hard work of digging down and put the fire out,” explains BC Wildfire Service Fire Information Mike McCulley.
“We use different types of aircraft to do that. We use airtankers that land on the runway and take retardant, fly out and deposit it on the fire, and then we use the aircraft; the water skimmers or scoopers.”
McCulley said on Friday evening that the fires around Williams Lake area although active and continue to have hot spots within them had not grown outside of their boundaries.
The same however could not be said about the majority of the wildfires within the Chilcotin which saw significant growth due to shifting winds.
Also, challenging firefighters is the Elephant Hill fire which continues to grow.
McCulley says that activity is being seen on fires around Quesnel Lake as well and that they engaged industry partners Friday to action one of them which is particularly visible to the public.
“They were out there with equipment, getting started on actioning that fire. We’re going to keep working on that very hard. We have our structural firefighters in play as well. So what they’re doing is they’re moving out ahead of these fires and trying to do assessments on properties and figure out the best way to protect them.”
An estimated 380,000 hectares have burned within the Cariboo Fire Centre, a number which is expected to grow.
“The forest and the grasslands are truly tinder dry. One spark will cause a major fire,” says McCulley. “Forecast is for continued long dry, hot weather We just ask people to stay on high alert.”
This year’s fire suppression costs in B.C have risen to more than $211 million dollars with 872 fires burning an estimated 509,000 hectares since April 1st.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.