The Elephant Hill fire as seen from Watch Lake last week. Carole Rooney photo.

Aug. 28: Contingency lines completed on north portion of Elephant Hill fire

100 Australians join fire crews

The Elephant Hill fire has seen some activity recently but nothing overly aggressive yet, says Fire Information Officer Claire Allen.

“Things are pretty status quo for right now, still no growth to the fire perimeter and nothing right now that suggests our fire guards are being challenged,” she says.

“In terms of the fire behaviour that we are seeing, … still rank one, rank two fire behaviour so that’s the smouldering ground fire to some open surface flames. In the middle section of the fire and down in the south east area, still within the perimeter, we are seeing a bit of activity. Some easterly winds yesterday pushed the fire that was more of an open surface flame south east of Hihium into a green pocket of unburned fuel, so that’s where that column of smoke came up. That was quite visible to the community, to the south and west of the fire and that’s where that originated from.

“We do have crews and helicopter resources addressing that today and working to ensure that that is not growing in a direction that would challenge containment lines, but for now it’s well within the fire perimeter and is not threatening any values or structures in that area.”

Yesterday, containment on the fire was upped to 50 per cent.

Today, Allen says that contingency guards on the north west and north east flanks have been completed.

On the north west flank of the fire, those lines go up above Hutchinson Lake and work up to the North Bonaparte Road towards Tin Cup Creek, adjacent to McMahon Lake. Tin Cup Lake, with North Bonaparte Road to the north form a natural barrier, so no guardlines were put in that area, she says.

From there, Allen says there are crews working in the Mount Jim area to complete a tightline on that portion of the fire, due to a number of ranches in the area, which connects north underneath Jim Lake. From there, the line goes in a north easterly fashion just towards the south of Lake of the Woods, south of Little Green Lake.

On the west side of the fire, the lines use Young Lake as an anchor point, move to the west of Spectacle Lake and then up the 3700 Road. From there, they move along existing forest service roads and connect to the other side of North Bonaparte Road where crews are then working to tightline along the fire to the northern tip and meet with the guards on the north west flank of the fire.

Overnight, Allen says scans were done to the south of the Bonaparte River, and from Chasm through to the west side of the fire to north of Loon Lake looking for any remaining hot spots.

“Especially ones that might be close to any infrastructure, properties or our own guard line. So really just making sure that given how deep the fire is burning into the subsurface layers, making sure that with the hot weather, we know where there are lingering hot spots and where lingering heat exists. Then giving that info to our crews and crew supervisors to go tackle as [they are] able because those are the ones that once it gets hot they pop up and start smoking again. Without any suppression, those can re-emerge into open surface flame and do some fuel finding and find some unburned fuels and that’s what we’re trying to keep from happening.”

She says crews are working on mop up and patrol in the Battle Creek area, which is “indicative of it moving out of that active wildfire phase.”

Looking ahead, Allen says that crews will be monitoring the weather.

“It looks like more days of this pretty intense heat we are having for late August,” she says. “It’s looking like things could get a little more challenging in terms of weather but given the really great progress we have been able to make so far, definitely feeling confident about our containment lines at this time.”

Yesterday, the fire received 100 Australians to help with suppression efforts. These international firefighters are in addition to several New Zealand crews working on the fire. Of the Australians, 60 are based at the Clinton camp and 40 are at the Big Sky camp.

Allen says the new crews have created a “joke rivalry” around the camp.

“There is a small New Zealand flag that’s about my height, it’s about five feet off the ground. The Australians brought in a massive flag pole and it dwarfs the Kiwi flag and they’ve put it right next to it.”

Allen says there should also be an influx of B.C. crews returning to the fire within the next couple of days as well.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North District RCMP are urging the public’s assistance in locating Prince George resident Amber Weutz, 25, last seen Oct. 18 in the Canim Mahood Lake area east of 100 Mile House. (Photo submitted)
RCMP release more information on missing Prince George woman

Amber Weutz, 25, was last seen in the Canim and Mahood Lake area on Oct. 18

Courtney Driver is the new president of the 100 Mile Performing Arts Society. (Photo submitted)
100 Mile Performing Arts Society elects new president

Courtney Driver wants to provide more diverse events

Erica Henderson the supervisor of early year services and programs at South Cariboo Early Years Centre and others were giving out Halloween Family Activity Kits the week leading up to Halloween. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Halloween activity kits offered to kids at home

South Cariboo Early Years Centre is finding ways to bring activities into children’s homes.

Juliette Leclair enjoys a day of skiing with the 100 Mile Nordics.
Nordic skiers practice skills in early snowfall

Thirteen young skiers got out on their skis at 100 Mile Junior.

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read