The Chancler Lake fire in the Chilcotin Fire Zone. BC Wildfire Service/Twitter

A comprehensive look at wildfires in the Cariboo, Aug. 3

Ten new fires were discovered in the region yesterday

There were 10 new wildfires discovered in the Cariboo yesterday (Aug. 2), with more than 450 fires now burning across B.C.

Of the 10 new fires in the Cariboo, six of those were in the 100 Mile Fire Zone, two were in the Chilcotin Fire Zone and two were in the Central Fire Zone. Two of the new fires have been extinguished while one is being held, all in the 100 Mile Fire Zone.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire to call in help from other provinces, countries

The largest fire in the Cariboo, the Horsefly Lake Fire, remains a Fire of Note at 526 hectares. Jessica Mack, the fire information officer for the Cariboo, says the fire is currently 50 per cent contained with 40 firefighters, 10 pieces of heavy equipment and a fire officer on site. “Crews will focus on obtaining 100 per cent containment today,” she says.

Although no new fires were discovered in the Horsefly region yesterday, there have been 23 fires started in the area since Monday, July 30. Six of those fires have been extinguished, two are being held and 15 are out of control.

The next largest fire in the area is the Quartz Mountain fire on the south side of Quesnel Lake, at 92 hectares.

The most fires in the region are currently in the 100 Mile Fire Zone, where the BC Wildfire Service is currently responding to 38 wildfires. Many of the fires are highly visible from local communities and highways, although Mack says there are no towns or structures currently threatened.

The main priority in the 100 Mile Fire Zone are the Sodium Lake fires, which are now both being held.The next priority are the two wildfires north of Marble Range Park, where the largest fire is 20 hectares. Another area of concern in the fire zone are the wildfires near Flat Lake Park, though the largest fire is only 0.6 hectares.

READ MORE: Evacuation alert issued for 93 properties at Quesnel Lake junction area

Mack says ground crews have made good progress on the fires.

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to 14 fires in the Quesnel Fire Zone, though no structures are currently threatened.

Mack says one of the fires is being held, while two others are under control. One has been extinguished.

The main priority in the Quesnel Fire Zone are the fires east of Quesnel and west of Bowron Lake Park, north of Highway 26. There are five fires in the area, with the largest at 20 hectares.

The largest fire in the Quesnel Fire Zone is the Cottonwood fire, which is estimated at 60 hectares. Mack says there are 10 fire fighters on site, with another 20 heading to the fire later today.

There are also six fires just north of the Itcha Ilgachuz Park. The largest is two hectares and considered under control.

Mack says the BC Wildfire Service is also responding to 13 fires in the Williams Lake area.

There is a cluster of fires approximately eight kilometres south of town, where the largest is 0.3 hectares. There are two fires in the Knife Creek area, both listed at 0.1 hectares, and four fires near the junction of Sheep Range Park, with the largest, at 199 hectares, within the park limits.

READ MORE: Optimistic day for crews working the Horsefly Lake fire

There have been 15 fires identified in the Chilcotin Fire Zone since Monday, July 30, though four of them have since been extinguished. Five of the fires are highly visible from the highway and surrounding communities, but no people or structures are currently being threatened. There are two fires in the Itcha Ilgachuz Park, where the largest is 15 hectares, and seven fires in the Chezacut and Redstone area. Three of them are under control and the largest is 4.3 hectares.

The main focus of the crews in the Chilcotin is the Chancler Lake fire located to the north of Tatla Lake, which Mack says “demonstrated aggressive fire behaviour yesterday.” It is currently at 110 hectares.

The weather is expected to get warmer and drier over the next week, although currently it seems that the wind will remain light.

According to Environment Canada, there is a 30 per cent chance of thundershowers in Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House this afternoon (Aug. 3).



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

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