The South Quartz Mountain fire on the east arm of Quesnel Lake is adding to the wildfire smoke in the region. Nearby the Horsefly Lake fire is considered a fire of note at 450 hectares. Nicole Borkowski photo

Thunderstorms and wildfires: A look at the how things are shaping up in the Cariboo Thursday, Aug. 2

The Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to 92 wildfires since July 31

While BC Wildfire Service continue to work to get a handle on area fires, another severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for the Cariboo for Thursday, Aug. 2.

Environment Canada issued the warning at 4 a.m., noting conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms beginning early this afternoon.

There is also continues to be a special air quality statement in effect for the Cariboo due to wildfire smoke.

At 7 a.m. thunder was already rumbling above the city of Williams Lake as airtankers could be heard coming and going from the nearby airport.

The Cariboo Regional District currently has two evacuation alerts in place due to wildfires, one in the Tatelkuz Lake area (131 km west of Quesnel) affecting two properties and the second is on the south side of Quesnel Lake (the Haggen’s Point/Hen Ingram Lake area) affecting 93 properties.

The Haggen’s Point/Hen Ingram Lake evacuation alert is due to access concerns from the Horsefly Lake wildfire.

Related: UPDATE: Optimistic day for crews working the Horsefly Lake fire

The Horsefly Lake wildfire had 40 firefighters and three helicopters working on it Wednesday. The BC Wildfire Service reports no significant growth on the fire Wednesday, which is roughly 450 hectares in size and caused two families on Horsefly Lake to self-evacuate Tuesday night when the fire flare up.

In all, the Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to 92 wildfires since July 31.

The following is a break down throughout the region by fire zone:

Quesnel area: 14 wildfires, Williams Lake area: 10 wildfires, Horsefly area: 23 (including Horsefly Lake wildfire) 100 Mile area: 33 fires, Chilcotin: 12 fires.

No structures or communities are immediately threatened by any of these fires.

CRD communications manager Emily Epp and BC Wildfire Service communications specialist Jessica Mack gave an update Wednesday evening via social media video.

The BC Wildfire Service additionally reported via social media Wednesday night that it is responding to 33 wildfires in the 100 Mile Fire Zone. There are no structures or communities threatened at this time, but multiple wildfires are highly visible from communities and highways in the area.

The media release said all of the wildfires have been assessed and are being actioned in priority sequence. Airtankers, ground crews, aircraft and heavy equipment are responding. There are five general areas that have a cluster of wildfires:

1) The first area is near Mount Hendrix, and located in this area there are six fires. The largest is the wildfire 15 kilometres northeast of Mount Hendrix, estimated at one hectare in size.

2) North of Horse Lake and east of the community of 100 Mile House, there are seven wildfires. None of these fires are larger than 0.01 hectares in size.

3) A total of eight wildfires are located north of Flat Lake Park and south of Gustafsen Lake Forest Service Road. The largest fire is C41930, and it is estimated at 0.6 hectares in size.

4) Two wildfires are located south of Green Lake on the east side of Highway 97. The Sodium Lake wildfire is the largest, at two hectares in size.

5) Lastly, there are three wildfires north of the Marble Range Park, with the largest being the Wild Goose Lake fire, estimated at two hectares in size.

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A birddog pilot took this photograph of the Sodium Lake in the 100 Mile House area Wednesday. BC Wildfire Service photo

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