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July 21: “Almost no growth” on Elephant Hill fire

Fire behavior mostly rank 2 today, with a bit of rank 3
A helicopter hovering closely above the water. Photo taken July 7 by Matti J. Lagerbom.

9:15 p.m. update: “Today looked pretty much the same as yesterday but with a bit less precipitation on the [Elephant Hill] fire,” (formerly known as the Ashcroft Reserve fire) says Fire Information Officer Claire Allen.

The objectives have generally stayed the same with similar weather tomorrow, building containment lines where they are able to.

“Sunday it looks like there could be a bit more unsettled weather coming our way and some stronger winds so we’ll have to assess that with a spot forecast closer to Sunday.”

The majority of fire today was rank 2 with a bit of rank 3, according to Allen.

“We saw almost no growth of the perimeter of the fire.”

Rank 2 fire is a low vigour surface fire. Rank 3 fire is a moderately vigorous surface fire according to the BC Wildfire Service. Division A and C, the southern pieces of the fire, are mostly in mop up according to Allen.

They’re not worried about the fire jumping the Bonaparte River at this time.

“It’s not been increasing on that flank of the fire but with potential higher winds coming, it’s definitely something that we will be monitoring and working to contain as best we can.”

Original story: While there was some rain on the Elephant Hill fire (formerly Ashcroft Reserve fire), it was patchy and nothing significant which increased the relative humidity, there was still rank 4 fire behaviour, according to Fire Information Officer Claire Allen.

Rank 4 fire behaviour is defined as highly vigorous surface fire with torching or passive crown fire. See more information on fire ranks.

The fire is now estimated at 58,363 hectares and remains at 30 per cent containment.

Allen confirmed that Highway 97 is now open between Kamloops and the Highway 24 turnoff.

“Yesterday, a lot of the plans that we had in place had to be put on hold just because of the precipitation and conditions. It was quite windy, variable winds, so it was difficult to conduct any controlled burns.”

Division A, the southern portion of the fire, is in mop up according to Allen, following significant burnoff operations earlier in the week.

“Right now crews are patrolling Division A and continuing with mop up to make sure there are no hot spots remaining.”

Yesterday evening (July 20) a number of evacuation orders were downgraded to alerts along Highway 97.

Related: Clinton Corridor and other evacuation orders downgraded

“The fire isn’t demonstrating any encouragement towards Clinton, so the same status. Where we are seeing some growth is in the north and north-east areas of the fire.”

The fire jumping the Bonaparte River is still not a concern as far as they know, says Allen.