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Cariboo Fire Centre updates on this week’s fires

Crews continue to work on the ground to contain numerous fires in the region
Smoke from the Gatcho Complex Fire in the wet Chilcotin seen from 10 km away on Sunday, July 9, 2023. (Jennifer Toland, Eliguk Lake Lodge photo)

BC Wildfire Service’s (BCWS) Cariboo Fire Centre issued an update on wildfires in the region this week.

As of July 14, there were 35 active fires in the region, three of those are fires of note, and none have incident management teams.

Warm, mostly dry and hazy conditions are expected across the fire centre for the next two days.

There were 13 active fires in the central zone, with five of those being listed as out of control at the time, four being held and four under control.

Four of those wildfires are located in the east of the zone, in the “wet belt” and are monitor only.

None of the four of the fires which were within the central Cariboo region were listed as out of control.

The Quesnel zone had 19 active fires, three being wildfire of note and multiple fires have evacuation orders or alerts placed on them.

High midday temperatures, shifting winds, low humidity and dry conditions have resulted in aggressive fire behaviour and challenging firefighting conditions.

Smoke from the wildfires is affecting the ability of fixed and rotary wing aircraft to provide continued support.

The safety of BC Wildfire Service personnel, ground crews, air crews, and the public remains the highest priority.

Wildfire of Note - Townsend Creek (C11290) is 921 hectares. Evacuation Order and Alert

Over 60 Wildfire Firefighters are assigned to this wildfire. BCWS Personnel are assisted by local and provincial contract firefighters. Heavy equipment is assigned to this wildfire and aircraft continues to assist with fire suppression efforts. Fire suppression activity continued overnight July 11 with a heavy focus on structure protection. Due to intense structure protection efforts for the last two days, no structures have been lost. Ground crews will be conducting planned ignitions, aerial ignitions are planned for today if conditions cooperate.

The Townsend Creek Area Evacuation Order was extended and a Baker Creek Evacuation Alert was created July 11.

Wildfire of Note - Pelican Lake (C11437) is 300 hectares. Evacuation Order

BCWS ground crews are actioning the wildfire with support from heavy equipment. Aircraft were able to lay fire retardant July 11. Due to smoke air support is limited today. Structure Protection in assigned to this fire and will be arriving late July 12.

An Evacuation Order was issued by Cariboo Regional District on July 11.

Wildfire of Note - Teepee Lake (C11499) is 1500 hectares. Evacuation Alert

The Teepee Lake wildfire was discovered by aerial reconnaissance late July 10 at 80 hectares.

BCWS Personnel are onsite. Heavy equipment is assisting in wildfire suppression today. Structure protection is being prioritized for this wildfire.

The Cariboo Regional District issued an Evacuation Order for the Teepee Lake Area on July 12.

Branch Road (C11243) is 1,182 hectares. Evacuation Alert

Over 40 Wildfire Firefighters are assigned to this wildfire. BCWS Personnel are assisted by local and provincial contract firefighters. BCWS Crews are onsite with additional support personnel and local and provincial contract wildfire firefighters. Heavy equipment is also onsite and assisting with suppression efforts. BC Wildfire Service personnel are utilizing planned ignitions and indirect fire suppression tactics. Airtankers and helicopters assisted in fire suppression throughout the day July 11.

On July 8 The Cariboo Regional District issued an Evacuation Alert for the Branch Road Wildfire.

Trout Lake (C11308) is six hectares

BC Wildfire Service personnel are onsite with support from local contract wildfire firefighters and heavy equipment. There is a control line including natural fire barriers around 100 per cent of the wildfire. This wildfire is being held. Nazko Road remains open with flaggers onsite to ensure safe travel.

Green Mountain (C11458) is six hectares

The Green Mountain wildfire is highly visible to surrounding communities. It is holding at six hectares, with no noticeable growth July 11. Infrastructure in the vicinity of this wildfire is not threatened.

Crews remain active on the ground July 11. A guard has been laid around 100 per cent of the fire and is holding.

The thickest smoke will be near the Fraser with visibilities from one to five miles. Some instability over southern Chilcotin and 100 Mile House areas this afternoon will give a risk of thundershowers. Winds will be light and occasionally gusty west-northwest.

High temperatures will be in the mid to upper twenties and relative humidities in teens to twenties. This will produce “crossover” conditions near and west of the Fraser River, which means low relative humidities and high temperatures provide conditions for increased fire activity.

Overnight recoveries should be fairly good, with cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity.

Models suggest slight instability east side of the Coast Mountain range with a risk of thundershowers Friday (today). Continued drying conditions are expected. Winds will continue to be light west-northwest.

Temperatures may creep up slightly and relative humidities down a little depending on smoke concentrations.

READ MORE: As wildfire season worsens in Cariboo, residents urged to prepare

READ MORE: MLAs from Lakes, Quesnel want state of emergency

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