The Elephant Hill fire as seen on Friday, Aug. 18. Matt Wiensendahl photo.

Aug. 21: Elephant Hill fire hasn’t grown significantly since Aug. 13

Crews focusing activities on northern, eastern flanks of fire

The Elephant Hill fire hasn’t grown significantly since Aug. 13, says Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula.

“It really hasn’t grown much since then, and we’ve seen a bit more wind and crews are making some gains,” she says.

However, she says conditions are expected to be warm and dry again, which can cause more fire activity.

Over the past 24 hours, evacuation orders have been downgraded in the northern Green Lake area, the Deadman Vidette area, and the the Skeetchestn Indian Band.

This indicates good things, says Kekula.

With the exception of the Loon Lake area, however, evacuation orders remain in place for areas within the fire perimeter.

Kekula stresses that the fire remains a “hot, active, out of control wildfire.”

“They are still finding a lot of hotspots and it is still keeping crews busy,” she says.

She says smoke is still visible from the north flank of the fire, south to Cache Creek.

Increased smoke in those and other areas today is likely due to a change in winds, she says.

When the wind shifts it, it re-engages embers that had been smoldering on the ground, causing increased activity in areas that may have been quiet before. Kekula compares it to a campfire.

“The wind comes from area and you get used to the wind prevailing from one spot and all of a sudden the wind will change direction,” she says. “Because the fire is burning out from the one spot from the wind but then it changes ever so subtly and it hits the embers from another section.”

Crews continue to work on the northern and eastern flanks of the fire, she says.

“Those are the areas where we still need to strengthen that control line and we need to really, really work on that and strengthen that, so that is where we are focusing our energies.”

Yesterday, she says, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District was on the ground and in the air around the Deadman Valley, Young Lake, Hihium Lake, Pressy Lake and other affected areas looking at the impact on structures.

Tomorrow, the current incident management team will be working with an incoming team to transition the management of the fire.

The team replacing the current management team, worked on the Elephant Hill fire two rotations ago.

They’ll shadow their counterparts so they can continue management on the fire.

bc wildfires

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