Update: Deka Lake and District Volunteer Fire Department Chief Al Boyce is thanking firefighters for a successful controlled burn against a 650-hectare wildfire near Deka Lake.
“I’m so impressed with the dedication of the volunteers of the Deka Lake Volunteer Fire Department and our fellow volunteer halls across the Cariboo, the work of BC Wildfire Service, and the responders who are coming from around the province to assist us,” said Boyce. “The controlled burn removed available fuel between the fires edge and the fuel-free guard. This strategy slows down and helps limit the spread of the wildfire by decreasing the amount of fire perimeter that must be managed by BCWS staff.”
Boyce noted that there have not been any structures lost to date. Roadblocks remain in place, and patrols are maintaining security while the evacuation order is in place.
“I want our residents to rest assured that their community is still here,” he said.
CRD Chair Margo Wagner also praised the work of fire crews and first responders.
“Cariboo firefighters have hard-won experience battling wildfires from previous years. That expertise is paying dividends across the region in 2021. Our local first responders and all those answering the call from other parts of the province are doing an incredible job under challenging circumstances.”
Update: BC Wildfire Service said Tuesday the controlled burn at Deka Lake took place according to plan Monday, and the fire is now estimated to be 650 hectares as a result. Crews patrolled the guard overnight for potential smoke and continue to assess the fire Tuesday.
Update: The Cariboo Regional District has expanded an evacuation alert for Sulphurous Lake area due to “potential danger to life and health.” The expanded alert includes the Hathaway Lake area north of the Sulphurous Lake that has been in place since July 1.
The evacuation alert is issued to prepare residents to evacuate their premises or property should it be required.
Update: BC Wildfire Service personnel are conducting a controlled burn operation, with both helicopter and hand ignition, at the 300-hectare Deka Lake wildfire today, Monday, July 5.
BCWS said the goal of the operation is to remove the available fuel between the fire’s edge and the fuel-free guard. “This strategy slows down and helps limit the spread of the wildfire by decreasing the amount of fire perimeter that must be managed by BCWS staff,” BCWS said in an update.
In preparation for these operations, ground personnel will laid hose along the fuel-free guard to ensure they have water available to extinguish any smoke or flame that may be seen near the guard. Increased smoke was expected to be highly visible to surrounding communities.
The wildfire is fully guarded by heavy equipment.
BC Wildfire Service is planning a controlled backburn on the fire near Deka Lake today, in hopes of getting a handle on the 300-hectare blaze.
Jessica Mack, information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre, said the weather conditions will be monitored closely throughout the controlled burn, which aims to remove fuel between the fire’s edge and the fuel-free guard.
“By doing this burn, we’re able to slow it down, and able to manage the fire versus the fire managing us,” Mack said Sunday. morning. “This could change as conditions shift on site so we will be monitoring that very closely.”
The operation will take place with both helicopter and hand ignition, and ground personnel will continue to lay hose along the guard should any smoke or flame crop up.
“People will likely see a lot of smoke on this today, which is normal,” Mack said. “We understand that this can be a concerning thing, and we don’t take an operation like this lightly.”
An evacuation order remains in place for sections of Deka Lake and Judson Road affecting approximately 700 properties, while evacuation alerts have been issued for Canim Lake and Sulphurous Lake.
Margo Wagner, CRD representative for Forest Grove-Canim Lake, said in a newsletter to residents Saturday that the fire in the Judy, Roger and Succour lake area “burnt into the lake last night, and today has been back burning on itself, which is the ideal situation.” The fire up Wilcox Road was also dealt with by BCWFS Saturday.