BC Wildfire crews will continue to carry out planned ignitions on the Flat Lake fire as conditions allow, as the fire – still listed as “out of control” – is now estimated to be 39,584 hectares in size.
According to an update on the BC Wildfire Service website Tuesday afternoon, controlled burns will be “ongoing” as crews aim to gain control of the blaze.
“Planned ignitions are an essential and effective tactic that the BC Wildfire Service uses to help contain very large fires,” the update states. “The objective of the planned ignition is to remove unburned fuels between the fire perimeter and pre-determined control lines such as roads and machine guards. This tactic will bring the fire’s edge to more easily accessible locations where ground crews can safely deliver water directly to the fire’s edge.”
The update also notes that aerial support will be utilized as needed during the ignitions.
Increased fire behaviour is expected on the Flat Lake fire due to higher temperatures, and smoke maybe more visible in the region as a result.
An aerial ignition that took place Monday on the northeastern flank of the 4,000-hectare Young Lake fire was a “success” according to a BCWS update Tuesday.
Hand ignitions are expected to continue to take place over the next few days and heavy equipment is working to widen and reinforce existing containment lines along the flank southwards.
There are currently 35 firefighters and 17 pieces of heavy equipment assigned to the Young Lake fire.
The Canim Lake fire remains listed at 2,673 hectares and a BCWS update Tuesday said that “significant progress” has been made by crews working to contain the north and west sides of the fire.
“On the south side of the fire, heavy equipment has established a contingency guard and crews continue to work directly on the fire perimeter with hose systems and water,” the update said.
Crews are also working directly along the fire’s east flank perimeter, securing fire guards south of MacNeil Lake. Near Drewry Lake, crews have gained access to the southeast corner and will be continuing to work in that area, supported by helicopter bucketing when needed.
Structure protection units have been removed from the residences and businesses in the South Canim area, as they are no longer required, according to BCWS.
The 454-hectare fire north of Chasm is now classified as “being held” with a fuel-free guard established around the entire fire perimeter. Crews will continue to patrol for hot spots and start to demobilize some of their gear.