Hand ignitions taking place on Big Stake wildfire. (BCWS photo)

Hand ignitions taking place on Big Stake wildfire. (BCWS photo)

Firefighters continue to battle 37 wildfires in Cariboo

Latest update for Cariboo Fire Centre

Firefighters continue to battle 37 wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre, with a high to extreme fire danger rating in the Central Cariboo and 100 Mile zones. There are seven wildfires of note, including Flat Lake and Canim Lake, which are being managed by an Incident Management Team.

Flat Lake: estimated to be 39,584 hectares

This fire is classified as out of control. A machine guard is completed on the north side of the fire and plans for a potential ignition operation in a portion of the northwest corner are underway. If conditions are favorable, this will occur Thursday, July 29. The north side of the fire was active yesterday but saw minimal growth.

Heavy equipment completed a guard system on the west side of the fire along the Gustafsen Nielson road. Crews will continue to secure the west side of the fire. Crews continued to make progress on securing control lines on the east side of the fire and today will target hot spots found by an aerial scan that locates heat signatures as well as areas of increased activity.

Increased fire behaviour Thursday caused some growth of the fire perimeter in the southwest corner. This morning, personnel are on site assessing and planning for machine guard options. Heavy equipment will be working today to contain this area. Crews will also be working to extinguish along the perimeter in the southeast today. A machine guard is under construction and planning is underway for ignition opportunities that will secure the south side of the fire.

Structural protection specialists continue to support the residences and properties on the west side of Hwy 97 and will be assessing residences in the area south of the fire in the vicinity of Meadow Lake.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District expanded its evacuation alert for Bonaparte Plateau Wednesday, July 28 to include the Big Bar – Meadow Lake areas. Existing evacuation order and alerts by the TNRD and Cariboo Regional District remains in place, along with an alert for the District of 100 Mile House.

Canim Lake: estimated at 2,673 hectares

This fire is classified as out of control although there has not been any significant change over the last few days.

The north and west side of the fire is contained and continues to be monitored. Crews are continuing to patrol these areas.

On the south side of the fire, heavy equipment has established a contingency guard and crews continue to work directly on the perimeter with hose systems and water. On Wednesday, July 29, the south side of the fire saw increased fire behaviour within control lines. Work will continue today, Thursday, in this area as well as planning for further direct attack options.

On the east side of the fire, work continues with crews mopping up south of MacNeil Lake. Further south, near Drewry Lake crews have established a fuel free guard.

Purdy Lake:estimated at 8,100 hectares.

This fire is classified as being held. There was some activity yesterday in the southwest corner of the fire but no new growth. The northern area of the fire is almost fully scanned, and crews continue to patrol and direct attack the hot spots that were found as a result of the scan.

McKinley Lake: 1,834 hectares

This fire is classified as out of control. Due to the warmer weather Wednesday, there was increased fire activity on site. Bucketing operations helped cool down hot spots. Ground personnel are working to establish a 25-foot wetline in priority areas on the northern flank along the creek. Crews are also working in the northeastern flank of the fire in steep area setting up a hose lay and blackline. An evacuation alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District for Crooked Lake remains in effect.

Chasm: 454 hectares

This fire is now classified as under control. The fire has a fuel free guard and hose lay around the entire fire. Crews are continuing to patrol the fire to ensure there are no hot spots. CN Rail has reopened the railway track. Fences in the area are being assessed by Range Officers. An evacuation alert has been issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Young Lake: estimated at 4,937 hectares

This fire is classified as out of control. Aerial ignitions were completed on the eastern flank of the fire Wednesday. This operation was conducted to remove the unburnt fuel between the containment lines and the fire. Heavy equipment continues to widen and re-enforce containment lines along the eastern flank moving south.

Crews have begun mop up operations along the east flank in area where planned ignitions occurred to ensure these areas are secured. If conditions permit, planned ignitions will occur on the eastern flank Thursday. These ignitions will be supported by firefighters and helicopters that will provide cooling action.

On July 21, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District expanded the evacuation order for a total of 103 properties. An additional 231 properties in the area remain on evacuation alert.

Big Stick: estimated at 7,020 hectares

This fire is classified as out of control. Sustained winds and warmer weather increased the fire behavior Wednesday, when hand ignitions were completed on the west flank of the fire. This operation was conducted to remove the unburnt fuel between the containment lines and the fire. Crews are mopping up and patrolling around the edges. Hand ignitions are planned for Thursday to continue work along the west flank.

An evacuation order has been downgraded to an alert for the Big Stick wildfire area.

Central Cariboo Zone

There are seven active wildfires burning in this zone. Three fires are classified as under control and four out of control.

Quesnel Zone

There are six active wildfires burning in this zone; two are under control, one is being held and three are out of control.

Chilcotin Zone

There are three active wildfires burning in this zone with two being held and one out of control.

100 Mile Zone

The Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing wildfires to the north of Highway 24 and east of Highway 97 within this zone. There are 21 active wildfires in the zone – 12 are now under control, four are being held, and five out of control.


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100 Mile HouseB.C. Wildfires 2021Cariboo Regional District