Fire Information Offier Jessica Mack says the controlled burn is being done with a helicopter and some hand ignition.
“The goal of this is just to remove any available fuel between the fire’s edge and the fuel free guard that was built by heavy equipment. This will allow us to slow down and help limit any spread of the wildfire by decreasing the amount of fire perimeter that we have to manage.”
Mack says in preparation for this operation ground personnel were able to lay hose all around the fire to ensure that there is water available to extinguish any smoke or flames.
She says they also have aircraft that are on site that are bucketing when necessary.
This fire, that has led to the evacuation of the community of Deka Lake and on Judson Road, is now 100 percent guarded, although it remains an active wildfire at this point.
It is an estimated 300 hectares in size, although Mack says that will likely grow due to the controlled burn.
There could also be increased smoke in the air in the surrounding communities.
The fire just south of Canim Lake is now up to 700 hectares in size.
“It’s located in very steep terrain and we did have some elevated winds in the afternoon so that increased the fire activity. There was minimal growth down slope which is where the community is. The winds pushed the fire over the ridge away from the community.”
Mack says they did an aerial assessment on the fire this (Monday) morning.
She says they have some heavy lift helicopters on site that are able to hold a lot of water, and she says they are now responding.
The Churn Creek wildfire is now up to 1,287 hectares in size, from 700, although Mack says they did a controlled burn there as well and were able to get some containment lines on the southern and western flanks of that fire.
Finally, the wildfire north of Big Stick Lake, which is the other wildfire of note in the Cariboo, has grown to 85 hectares and it is now 90 percent guarded.
That fire is to the north of Watch Lake, to the south of Horse Lake, and kind of to the southwest of Deka Lake.
All tolled, Mack says there are 49 active fires within the Cariboo, 36 in the 100 Mile zone, five within the Central Cariboo zone, four within the Quesnel fire zone, and three in the Chilcotin zone.