Smoke from the Elephant Hill fire seen from the Big Bar pullout north of Clinton today, Aug. 18. Kellie Holloway photo.

Aug. 18: Elephant Hill fire remains behind guard lines and south of Green Lake

“It doesn’t look like the perimeter changed much this afternoon”

9:15 p.m.: Despite increased fire activity on the Elephant Hill fire today, it has remained behind control lines, says Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula.

“It stayed south of Green Lake, it doesn’t look like the perimeter changed much this afternoon, and we did receive a bit of precipitation,” she says.

“Everything went according to plan today so that’s good to see, that all the hard efforts that the crews have been putting in since the last rain event and all that hard work really was in our favour today.”

She says with the rain, relative humidities go up, recoveries are better and “it’s just a little gain everywhere we can get it.”

She says as per the weather, people can expect to see similar conditions throughout the weekend, with a return to a warmer drying trend afterwards.

Throughout the weekend, she says that crews will be continuing to try and increase containment on the fire.

“To get those control lines completely around the fire and then to get a black line from the control line into the fire.”

A “black line” is an already burned area that has no fuel in it for the fire left to burn.

Kekula says the aim is to create a black area from 500 to 1000 m off the control line towards the fire.

Depending on the weather, people may see more active plumes of smoke into the weekend, she says.

“If there is another gust of wind and the right conditions, then yes you will and if the recoveries stay high and the relative humidities and everything, and we don’t get the wind, then you won’t. It’s all very weather dependent.”

Original story: The Elephant Hill fire is seeing increased fire activity due to winds, says Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula.

“Last I heard, they said it was still staying within the control lines,” she says.

“Crews are flying it, crews are actioning it,” she says. “We are using air support, ground support, heavy equipment support.”

She says people can expect to see columns of smoke due to the winds, which are expected to shift from prevailing southerlies to north and northwesterly winds later today, according to a release by the Cariboo Fire Centre.

The release, issued earlier today (Aug. 18), says that winds are expected to cause existing fires to grow significantly and may cause new fires to burn aggressively and spread quickly.

Related: Strong variable winds this weekend expected to increase wildfire activity

According to Kekula, during the last couple of days, crews have been preparing for the event by actioning and creating guards on the northern tip of the fire.

“None of this was ever taken lightly.”

Kekula says that that they are doing their best to save as many properties as possible.

“We’ve got structural protection units out there and we are doing our best to prioritize life and property,” she says.

“This is a huge fire,” she says. “We are trying our best to get to every place we can get to.”

She says one of their goals is to keep the fire from moving.

“I get that everyone is scared, and tired of that fire, and I get that and I hear that, but Mother Nature wants to be windy this weekend,” she says.

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Winds and rain was seen in 100 Mile House today. While the rain is welcome, the winds are causing increased activity on fires around the Cariboo, including the Elephant Hill fire. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

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