The view from Lone Butte towards the Elephant Hill fire, taken Sept. 10. Max Winkelman photo.

Sept. 12: Containment on Elephant Hill fire now 60 per cent

Residents reminded there is still active fire in area

Containment on the Elephant Hill fire went up to 60 per cent today, says Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula.

“We’re getting some confidence on containment,” she says.

“We look at the perimeter, we look at where the guards are, we look at where we are really tight on those black lines and then we do some calculations of where [the containment] is at,” she says.

However, she says that despite the lifting of evacuation orders, people still need to recognize they are returning to an area with active fire.

“Progress is being made and confidence is increasing, but with those winds that we were experiencing yesterday and a bit today — I know this afternoon all four helicopters were active and bucketing — we saw the fire was presenting itself,” she says.

“You will see candling, you will see smoke, you will see this fire until winter and there is snow on the ground. That really is the theme: welcome home but you are still very close to an active fire.”

Having people in the area is giving crews an extra boost, she says.

“Knowing that people are coming home, it makes it a whole little bit different for them.”

Fall weather is helping with containment, she says, however, there is still a ways to go.

“The temperatures are getting lower at night, we haven’t received the precipitation that we were hoping to, the days are cool, the winds are picking up, but it is staying in our control lines. So, we are watching all of that and going okay, even with those winds yesterday and it stayed within our control lines, we gotta start getting these people come home even though the fire is still active. We’ve just got to trust and hope with the fall weather and everything that it will continue to stay within the control lines.”

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