Sept. 5: Crews working on 500 m blackline on northern flank of Elephant Hill fire

“We are continually challenged by this fire”

Crews today are working on creating a 500 m plus blackline on the northern flank of the Elephant Hill fire, says Fire Information Officer Noelle Kekula.

“They are burning off at least 500 m of fuel or mopping it up and just getting that black, because we’ve seen 400, 300, 200 m spottings, so if we can get a strong blackline, if the winds shift they hopefully won’t jump it and it can stay within their containment,” she says.

The area they are working on blacklining, and their priority today she says, is on the north flank, between Green Lake, up to Sheridan Lake and then down towards Eagan Lake, she says.

With the winds coming from the north, she says that has been the objective in recent days.

Approximately 200 firefighters are working in the area.

While she does say there is fire activity in the area, she says it’s hard to tell what’s happening because it’s so smoky. She also notes that there is some wind today.

“It’s not calm but I don’t know if we are getting many gusts of winds like we have seen in the previous days,” she says.

While she says she’s not sure what the fire behaviour is like in the Young Lake area, she says crews are in the area.

“I know we are continually putting out hot spots in that area, but we have crews in that area and actioning hot spots.”

The BC Wildfire Service recommended an extension of an evacuation order earlier today. The area affected includes some few properties to the west of Eagan Lake.

Related: Evacuation order for properties west of Eagan Lake

Kekula says the recommendation was due to growth in that direction over the weekend.

“It was getting close and in case the winds did shift, we knew those people would be out and safe. It’s just a precautionary recommendation,” she says.

Kekula says that if people are not seeing crews along the northern front of the fire, it’s not because they aren’t in the area.

“You’re not going to see the crews on the roads, you are not going to see the crews in the open areas. Where the crews are is on the head of the fire. They are in the areas protecting people’s homes. They are in the areas where it is dangerous, where the public shouldn’t be. So there is a reason why people aren’t seeing all these fire fighters that are out there,” she says.

“They are out there, they are working it hard. We are continually challenged by this fire.”

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