The Blackwater River Fire seen from a helicopter Aug. 12, 2018. Cariboo Regional District/Todd Conway photos

North Baezaeko continues to grow; fire management team takes over

Narcosli Creek Fire still 70 per cent contained

The North Baezaeko Fire continues to grow, going from an estimated size of 2,500 hectares yesterday to an estimated size of 4,000 hectares as of 10:50 a.m. today, Aug. 17.

The BC Wildfire has confirmed that they have not been able to map the fire due to the smoke, which is why the size is listed as “estimated.”

The North Baezaeko Fire, located approximately 85 kilometres west of Quesnel and south of Kluskoil Lake Park, is now listed as 10 per cent contained. Crews worked throughout the night to establish containment guards and are focusing on securing the east and south eastern flanks of the fire today. If weather permits, there will be planned ignitions to reinforce the guard.

There are currently 45 personnel, two helicopters, eight pieces of heavy equipment and a water tender on site.

READ MORE: Narcosli Creek Fire now 70% contained, more resources allocated in North Cariboo

A smaller fire located just west of the North Baezaeko Fire continues to be listed at 370 hectares.

The Blackwater River Fire, located 72 kilometres west of Quesnel and east of the Blackwater River, is still listed at 4,519 hectares and zero per cent contained. However, it is 75 per cent guarded. Planned ignitions occurred on the fire yesterday and are set to continue today, weather permitting. there are 23 personnel, four helicopters, and seven pieces of heavy equipment on site.

The Narcosli Creek Fire, located 31 kilometres southwest of Quesnel, continues to be listed at 3,400 hectares and 70 per cent contained. There is a guard in place around 90 per cent of the fire and crews are focusing on burning unburned fuels where possible and establishing control lines today. There are 99 personnel, five helicopters, 13 pieces of heavy equipment and three water tenders on site.

The Shag Creek Fire, located west of Shag Creek and north of Itcha Ilgachuz Park, is still listed at 9,300 hectares today, although it remains zero per cent contained with no crews on site. The crews were taken off the fire early last week when it became to aggressive for them to work safely. The size of this fire is also listed as “estimated” meaning the BC Wildfire Service has been unable to map it.

READ MORE: Local fire management team will bring structural protection units, focused resources: MLA

All of these fires are being taken over by an Incident Management Team (IMT) today, operating out of Sylvia’s on Nazko Road. The camp will house firefighters from Mexico and Saskatchewan, and means that there will be structural protection units provided to protect against these fires. The crews will be focused solely on the fires in the North Cariboo. When the IMT is in place, communication around these fires is also expected to improve.

As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 17, there are evacuation orders and alerts in effect for all of these fires.

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