The BC Wildfire Service has provided an update this morning (Aug. 12) on the Wildfires of Note near Quesnel.
On the Narcosli Creek Fire, night operations with heavy equipment worked throughout the night, says the BC Wildfire Service. However, due to clear skies today, fire behaviour has increased. Crews will now focus on the south and east flanks to gain containment.
The fire is still listed at 3,100 hectares and zero per cent contained. All evacuation alerts and orders are still in effect in the area. The Wildfire Service reports there are 104 firefighters, five helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment now on site.
The Mayor of Quesnel Bob Simpson posted an update to his Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 12.
“The fire did jump the containment line on its Eastern flank over night, so the Cariboo Regional District’s 6:30 p.m. evacuation order for the specific properties they were concerned about was warranted,” writes Simpson.
“Structural protection crews are deployed to protect a few properties that are at immediate risk, however, the fire did not make a run, it just breached the containment.”
He went on to say smoke conditions have prevented aircraft from performing aerial surveys, so more accurate information is not available at this time.
Ground reports confirm containment on the north east of the fire is holding, though, says Simpson.
The evacuation alert issued Aug. 10 for properties west of the Fraser River including West Quesnel, Bouchie Lake, Milburn Lake and part of Puntchesakut Lake is still in effect due to this fire.
Last night, Aug. 11, at around 9:40 p.m. the evacuation alert for the Narcosli Creek Fire was expanded to include properties south and west of the evacuation order zone. There are currently 33 properties on evacuation order due to this fire.
Blackwater River Fire
The Blackwater River Fire, which is located 72km west of Quesnel and east of the Blackwater River, has increased in size from 2,000 hectares to 3,755 hectares, as of an update at 11:07 a.m. Aug. 12. It remains zero per cent contained.
The BC Wildfire Service says they have completed 90 per cent of the dozer guard on the northern flank and ground crews will be working to complete burn operations today, in order to remove unburned fuels.
There are currently seven firefighters, one helicopter and six pieces of heavy equipment on this fire. The Tsacha Lake expanded evacuation order is still in place.
An evacuation alert for 2,077 properties west of Highway 97 is still in place, encompassing the communities of Nazko, Baker Creek, Blackwater, Ten Mile Lake, Cinema, Moose Heights and Strathnaver.
Shag Creek Fire
The Shag Creek Fire is located far west of Quesnel, in the northwest corner of the Cariboo Regional District. It is still estimated at 7,000 hectares and has no personnel on site due to safety reasons. It is zero per cent contained. An evacuation order is in effect for 93 properties in this area, with more properties put on alert last night, Aug. 11, at around 10 p.m.
Other fires in the Quesnel Fire Zone
There are 19 wildfires burning in this zone, says Robyn Clark, the fire information officer with the Cariboo Fire Centre.
The Yuzkli Lake Fire is south of Big Valley Creek and estimated at 100 hectares, located north west of Wells. There are no communities or structures threatened at this time, Clark says.
The fire west of Mustang Lakes is estimated at 100 hectares. This fire is in steep terrain that is inaccessible to ground crews.
There are currently 84 active wildfires within the Cariboo Fire Centre, with six fires being called out yesterday. Four of these fires were within the 100 Mile Fire Zone.
Four new wildfires were discovered in the Cariboo Fire Centre since Aug. 11. All were spot fires, with three in the 100 Mile Fire Zone and one in the Williams Lake region.
The fire danger rating in the Cariboo Fire Centre is currently ‘high’ throughout most the fire centre with pockets of ‘extreme’ and ‘moderate’. The BC Wildfire Service website displays the current fire danger rating for the province here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/wildfire-situation/fire-danger.