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Wildfire Update Sunday, August 6

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UPDATED: There are now 127 wildfires burning across the province, including six new ones started up Saturday.

Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says there have been 891 fires since April 1st.

“That’s burned an area currently estimated at 591,000 hectares in size. To put that number into some context, that number is now larger than the entire province of Prince Edward Island.”

Suppression efforts have cost almost $230 million.

Skrepnek is expecting thunderstorms across the province this weekend through Wednesday.

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“There’s no real, particular area of specific concern but really the entire southern part of the province does have the potential for some lightning activity and unfortunately it is looking like that lightning will be particularly dry.”

There are 6,900 British Columbians still on an Evacuation Order and 26,600 on an Evacuation Alert.

There are over 3,800 personnel forest fighters working in the province. Over 600 are from out of province, about 1400 are contractors, and there are 216 air crafts

Recreational off road vehicles are prohibited on Crown lands in the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast Fire Centres.

Wildfires of Note within the Kamloops, Coastal, and Cariboo Fire Centre as of Sunday, August 6:

—>In the Kamloops Fire Centre

Elephant Hill

  • located near Ashcroft
  • 110,236.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 30% contained
  • Unpredictable winds and extremely dry conditions are creating some volatile fire behavior and challenging firefighting efforts.
  • Aggressive fire behaviour on the north east corner in the early evening Saturday night.
  • The fire perimeter to the north has crossed the Bonaparte River. Guard lines have been constructed along the north flank and controlled burns continue to bolster the west flank. Strong northerly winds on Thursday evening and Friday morning created fire movement on the South East and South West flanks. The fire has not crossed Hwy 99 or Hwy 1. Crews and equipment are working day and night in these areas. Guards around Loon Lake have been holding as of Friday. On the NE flank the fire continues to progress in a north easterly direction and is currently approximately 7 km from Young Lake.
  • Within the fire perimeter there are still pockets of dry fuels that have not burned and these ignite when winds change direction sending embers into the unburned fuels within and outside of the fire perimeter.
  • Helicopters, water skimmers, structural fire fighters and heavy equipment are all nearby during controlled burns.
  • Over 600 personnel including night shifts
  • Structures have been impacted

—>In the Coastal Fire Centre

Precipice Fire

  • burning about 52 kilometres east of Bella Coola
  • continues to grow.
  • This lightning-caused fire started on July 7, 2017, in a remote area of Tweedsmuir Park on the Cariboo Plateau
  • As of the afternoon of Aug. 5, this fire covered about 4,300 hectares and had spread beyond the park boundary.
  • BC Wildfire Service personnel are continuing work on this fire and develop further control strategies.
  • BC Wildfire Service firefighters face challenging conditions, including a lack of road access, continuous forest fuels and smoke that has impeded aircraft operations.

—>In the Central Area Command:

Wildwood Fire

  • located east of Williams Lake from the 150 Mile area to the Wildwood area
  • 12,987.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 20% contained
  • Crews continue to reinforce guard and actions hot spots on northern flank.
  • 154 firefighters and 30 pieces of heavy equipment

White Lake

  • located northwest of Williams Lake (West of the Fraser River)
  • 13,192.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 40% contained
  • Crews will focus efforts on the east flank, which is the most active portion of the fire. Reinforcement of the south east flank will also remain as a priority.
  • Controlled ignition operations will continue daily, as conditions allow.
  • 80 firefighters and 29 pieces of heavy equipment

Spokin Lake Rd

  • located near Spokin Lake, which is located approximately 20 km east of Williams Lake
  • 3,731.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 20% contained
  • Crews continue to focus on the hot areas within the south east flank. Contingency guard is in place to the east. An assessment of an industrial sprinkler system for the southeast flank will be done today.
  • 126 firefighters and 28 pieces of heavy equipment

Soda Creek Fire

  • located west side of highway 97, 17 km northwest of the WL Airport
  • 251.0 hectares (estimated)
  • Fallers are working the northwest corner, in areas where crew are working and in new dozer lines.
  • 0 firefighters and 0 pieces of  heavy equipment

—> In the Chilcotin Fire Zone

Chezacut

  • located approximately 140 km northwest of Williams Lake

As of Saturday, August 5

  • 16,411.0 hectares
  • 0% contained
  • Progress made along the southern and western containment of the fire by strengthening guards and conducting localized burn out operations.
  • Structural protection crews have established protection on nearby cabins.
  • The fire continues to burn towards the north east in remote terrain.
  • No structures or grazing meadows are under immediate threat.
  • Expected that fire activity will increase in coming days
  • 41 firefighters ,2 helicopters, and 19 pieces of heavy equipment

Hanceville-Riske Creek

  • located Hanceville and Riske Creek areas, located approx. 60 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake

As of Saturday, August 5

  • 148,441.0 hectares (estimated)
  • The large size of this fire continues to have operations direct resources to high priorities in the area.
  • Structural protection crews are assessing properties in the area.
  • Despite the increased winds Friday, due to the inversion lifting and smoke clearing, crews were successful with burn-out operations along the northern flank. The winds did result in some fire flare-ups for the fire, including areas near the Riske Creek camp, Bald Mountain, and Cotton Dam yesterday. Helicopters assisted crews with bucketing in these areas and firefighters and heavy equipment continue to action and monitor these.
  • The southeastern corner of the fire also saw increased fire behaviour in addition to the southwestern flank near Fletcher Lake on Friday. The fire is approximately 2km away from the northern end of Fletcher Lake. Crews continue to work in this area, mopping-up hotspots adjacent to structures. Firefighters and heavy equipment continue to work on contingency line up to the 2200 road.
  • Smoke will continue to be very heavy in the area and impact visibility and livestock may be on the road due to damaged fencing.
  • 263 firefighters, 14 helicopters, and 14 pieces of heavy equipment

Kleena Kleene Wildfire

  • located South of Highway 20 primarily along Klinaklini River, approximately 200km west of Williams Lake
  • 6,572.0 hectares (estimated)
  • Burn out operations will continue as weather conditions allow.
  • Efforts have been focussed on deepening containment by creating a burnt out edge to the containment guard, in order to prevent fire escapes.
  • No property is currently under immediate threat.
  • Smoke is expected to be visible as pockets of fire burnt out in interior of the burn area.
  • 55 firefighters, 4 helicopters, and 20 pieces of heavy equipment

—>In the Quesnel Area Command

4km North of Baezaeko River

  • located 4 km North of Baezaeko River
  • 48,258.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 0% contained
  • Crews work on fire guard on southeast side.
  • 101 firefighters and 22 pieces of heavy equipment

Bishop Bluff

  • located 5 km North of Bishops Bluff, approx 130 km west of Quesnel. 5 km SW of Kluskus
  • 11,427.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 0% contained

Castle Rock/Twan Lake South

  • located west of Hwy 97 in the Tingley Creek/Soap Lake area northeast of Soda Creek

As of Saturday, August 5

  • 5,875.0 hectares (estimated)
  • The fire has currently not moved any closer to the Alexandria IR 3 and IR 1.
  • Crews continue to make good progress with this fire, but dry weather is creating more fuel in unburnt patches within the perimeter, creating more smoke.
  • There was an increase in smoke in the area Friday with some active flame where the previous two separate fires joined. This was extinguished by bucketing and a large air tanker drop.
  • 60 firefighters and 8 pieces of heavy equipment

Green Mountain

  • located at Green Mountain, just west of Dragon Mountain and approximately 25km southeast of Quesnel

As of Saturday, August 5

  •  553.0 hectares (estimated)
  • Crews are confident with the perimeter of the fire, with the exception of the North West corner. They will continue to focus their efforts in that corner. Water bucketing occurred of the fire Friday to help crews extinguish hot spots. Crews will focus on the southern boundaries after some success cooling the northern area of the fire.
  • 25 firefighters and 3 pieces of heavy equipment

Tautri Complex

  • located Rosita Lake/Tautri Lake area, approx. 80 km northwest of Williams Lake

As of Saturday, August 5

  •  67,005.0 hectares (estimated)
  • Heavy equipment and crews continue to work on establishing guard on the flanks and tie into pre-existing roads and natural land features.
  • Crews have installed water sources and are continuing to protect structures in the area, secure the perimeter and investigate possible ignition spots.
  • The fire has increased in size in the west, north west and south west corners. Strategies are being implemented to coordinate this fire growth and protect life and structures in the area.
  • Crews will look to burn out sections of the perimeter to prevent further growth
  • Structure protection crews were on site at Alexis Lake to install protection systems on local homes.
  • 144 firefighters and 28 pieces of heavy equipment

Wentworth Creek

  • located just east of the Nazko River approximately 80km northwest of Williams Lake

As of Saturday, August 5

  •  2,542.0 hectares (estimated)
  • Crews continue to work on the increased perimeter of the fire, putting in breaks in the north and east to ensure the fire does not spread.
  • Fire activity has increased in the past few days, and the fire area was extremely smokey Friday.
  • Crews used burnout techniques to help tie in the perimeter of the fire to a natural landscape features in an effort to halt its spread.
  • 40 firefighters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment

West Fraser Road

  • located on the west side of Highway 97, approximately 6km southwest of Australian and 30 km south of Quesnel

As of Saturday, August 5

  •  127.0 hectares (estimated)
  • 100% contained
  • All hotspots have been contained and the fire has been aerial scanned.
  • The fire will continue to be monitored over the coming days to ensure it is out.
  • Considered to be ‘Under Control.’
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