Environment Canada has issued a smoky skies bulletin for the 100 Mile area Aug. 1 (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Environment Canada has issued a smoky skies bulletin for the 100 Mile area Aug. 1 (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Wildfire crews bracing for ‘erratic’ winds as storm cell moves through

Cooler temperatures, precipitation helped dampen fires but not enough for lasting impact

BC Wildfire Service said cooler temperatures and precipitation helped to dampen fire activity in the Cariboo Sunday but it wasn’t enough to have a lasting impact on the Flat Lake or south of Canim Lake wildfires.

In its latest update, BCWS said a storm cell passing over the region is expected to bring bring “erratic down gust winds that are expected to heighten fire activity and fire behaviour again.

“Fire activity is expected to pick up as fuels dry out with the warming and drying trend anticipated to move back into the region by mid-week,” BCWS said.

BC Wildfire Service said unpredictable convective winds on July 31 increased fire behaviour on the Flat Lake fire, now mapped at 52,801 hectares. The fire on the north flank crossed the machine guard in two spots. Crews and heavy equipment completed the guard around the excursion identified a new containment line.

Crews on Monday, Aug. 2, planned to secure the guard on the northeast as fuels dry out and heavy equipment will begin building machine guard. They also continue work on the southwest corner and along the south flank, continuing to establish containment and secure the lines on the southwest corner.

Planned ignitions for the Meadow Lake Road, Dog Creek Road and Gustafson East FSR area on the southwest edge of the fire will proceed when the weather and visibility improve and conditions are favourable.

Currently, 104 firefighters, 30 pieces of equipment, six structural protection personnel and there are 17 helicopters for the Northeast complex.

The Cariboo Regional District expanded its evacuation alert area north of the fire, while the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) upgraded the evacuation alert area to an evacuation order for the southwest corner of the fire perimeter in the Meadow Lake area.

South of Canim Lake wildfire

BCWS said visibility has been challenging over the past few days and aircraft working on the South of Canim Lake wildfire was grounded for a majority of the day Sunday.

Winds from a storm that passed through July 31, caused the fire to back down the hill and resulted in a small excursion, about seven hectares, according to the latest update. On Sunday, crews and heavy equipment worked to establish a guard around the excursion and will work to finish wrapping the excursion today, Aug. 2. Crews will also continue the fuel-free guard and building the 10ft blackline out to 25-ft blackline to further secure the fuel-free guard south to Drewry Lake.

Patrols of the north and west flank will be ongoing to put out any hot spots that pop up as temperatures remain high and relative humidity remains low, according to the update.

Some 27 firefighters and eight pieces of heavy equipment, as well as helicopters, continue to work on a wildfire south of Canim Lake, which is roughly estimated at 3,026 hectares.

More to come.



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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100 Mile HouseB.C. Wildfires 2021Cariboo Regional District