The Churn Creek Protected Area fire as seen Friday, Aug. 6. (James Harry photo)

The Churn Creek Protected Area fire as seen Friday, Aug. 6. (James Harry photo)

Firefighters make headway in the Cariboo Fire Centre

Latest update from BC Wildfire Service

Update (3:35 p.m. Aug. 20):

The cooler weather and precipitation is helping to suppress fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre, according to BC Wildfire information officer Madison Smith.

Firefighters continue to respond to 27 fires in the Cariboo Fire centre, down from 31 fires on Thursday.

“There’s been low activity out there,” Smith said. “The downturn in weather has helped with suppression efforts.”

The fire danger rating throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre is moderate to high with patches of low.

Original story:

firefighters continue to respond to 27 fires in the Cariboo Fire centre, with four of those – Big Stick Lake, Flat Lake, Young Lake and Churn Creek Protected Area – fires of note.

The fire danger rating throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre is moderate to high with patches of low.

Churn Creek wildfire (estimated at 12,101 hectares).

A heavy equipment task force team will focus efforts Friday on the northern flank by of the Churn Creek fire widening the fuel-free area along pre-existing roads (3100-3100B). Firefighters will work from east to west along this road and then move to the western flank to widen the pre-existing road moving from north to south.

On Aug. 8, the Cariboo Regional District rescinded the Evacuation Alert for the Gang Ranch area and the Canoe Creek- Dog Creek area.

Young Lake wildfire (estimated at 7,453 hectares).

Cooler temperatures and precipitation from a few days ago continues to dampen fire behaviour. An aerial assessment will occur on the fire Friday.

On Aug. 10, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District downgraded another portion of the evacuation order to an evacuation alert. On Aug. 5, the TNRD downgraded the evacuation order to an alert for 45 properties north of Young Lake. An order issued on July 15 remains in place for 13 properties. On Aug. 2, the TNRD rescinded the evacuation order for a total of 103 properties to alert.

Big Stick Lake (estimated to be 7,195 hectares)

The Big Stick Firecontinues to exhibit low fire behaviour is now classified as being held.

Crews have been conducting mop-up operations on two areas of the fire that are holding the most heat on the east side of Highway 20. Helicopters were also working on those two areas, cooling hotspots by bucketing water to the site. Crews will be working in the east section where sprinkler lines were set up. A scan will occur on this fire in the coming days.

On Aug. 16, the Cariboo Regional District downgraded the evacuation order for Big Stick area #3 to an evacuation alert. The evacuation alert is still in place for Big Stick area #1 and #2.

The Big Stick Lake and Clearwater Lake recreation site are closed to the public to allow firefighting personnel to safely conduct fire suppression efforts.

Flat Lake Fire (estimated to be 73,779 hectares)

Firefighters are planning a planned ignition for the northwest side of the Flat Lake fire today, Aug. 20, near the corner of 1100 Road and Dog Creek Read, if conditions allow.

The move is aimed at bringing the fire perimeter to more easily accessible locations where ground crews can deliver water directly to the fire’s edge. Aviation support will remain on-site to support the planned ignition if it occurs. Firefighters will also conduct mop-up operations up to 15 ft in the area of the planned ignition and complete danger tree assessments and falling where it is required.

On the northern flank near Moose Valley, firefighters plan to conduct more direct attacks and establish a fuel-free guard from Holden Lake moving northwest to the tip of the fire perimeter north of Moose Valley Park along the Moose Valley Road, following increased activity Wednesday. The 1100 road up to the 37-kilometre mark has also been widened, along with the Helena Lake North FSR located to the northeast of Moose Valley Park. Firefighters will work behind heavy equipment to conduct mop-up operations along the control line to extinguish any hot spots found.

In the northeast near Valentine Lake, firefighters plan to establish new control lines in the area and conduct mop-up operations up to 15 ft to support guard construction. Heavy equipment will continue to utilize direct attack methods along the fire perimeter in the northeastern corner, tying into natural features such as Valentine Lake to establish a fuel-free guard.

A heat scan was completed on Aug. 17 on the eastern flank of the fire and firefighters are using the results to prioritize mop-up operations up to 100 feet by patrolling and extinguish hot spots prioritizing areas near properties.

Central Cariboo Zone

There are nine active wildfires burning in this zone; one is classified as being held and seven are out of control.

Quesnel Zone

There are four active wildfires burning in this zone; one is being held and three are out of control.

Chilcotin Zone

There are four active wildfires burning in this zone with all four being classified as being held.

100 Mile Zone

The Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing all wildfires in the 100 Mile zone, along with the Churn Creek Protected Area wildfire.

There are 11 active wildfires in the zone. Seven of the fires in the 100 Mile zone are now under control, one is being held, and three are out of control.



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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B.C. Wildfires 2021