Smoke rises from the wildfire burning north of Forest Grove near Wilcox Road. (Karen McLeod photo)

Smoke rises from the wildfire burning north of Forest Grove near Wilcox Road. (Karen McLeod photo)

UPDATE: Blaze near Forest Grove largely extinguished

The fire, near Wilcox Road, burned 30 hectares

UPDATE: The wildfire on Wilcox Road has largely been extinguished as of Saturday afternoon.

Members of the BC Wildfire Service are still on-site and chainsaws can be heard echoing from the trees. While parts of the hill that caught fire still smoulder, the worst of the blaze has been contained and extinguished.

The blaze was 30 hectares in size.

Wildfire information assistant Andrea Robinson said that the state of control on the fire is still “being held” as reported Friday night. Robinson said there are 30 BC Wildfire Service personnel on-site today with ground teams working on danger tree assessment and falling.

This allows BCWS firefighters to continue to lay hose and suppress the edge of the fire safely.

Additional BC Wildfire Service personnel are en route to a wildfire near Forest Grove.

Eight BCWS firefighters remain on site of the fire, near Wilcox Road, where ground personnel are working to establish a hose lay, and a guard near the timber’s edge. Fire behaviour is rank one, meaning there is no open flame.

The fire, which is now at 30 hectares, is deemed as “being held,” thanks to the work of BCWS personnel, said fire information assistant Andrea Robinson. The fire is suspected to be human-caused, but is under investigation.

Robinson said the BC Wildfire Service is monitoring the situation daily and will look at a number of factors to determine whether an open burning prohibition is appropriate. Factors include fire activity and forecasted weather.

“The current weather forecast shows a downturn in weather. Over the next few days, it is expected that the weather will trend cooler and wetter,” she said in an email to the Free Press. “We will continue to monitor this situation closely. However, we remind anyone conducting open burning to that you do so responsibly.”

Those planning to burn should ensure they have water on-site, a fireguard around the burn area and not to burn in windy conditions and leave the fire unattended.

“Human-caused wildfires are entirely preventable and unnecessarily divert firefighting resources from naturally occurring fires.”

Previous story

Members of the BC Wildfire Service are battling a 22-hectare wildfire north of Wilcox Road near Forest Grove.

The fire was discovered Friday morning and is slowly spreading south-east into the treeline, according to a report heard over the scanner. Smoke can be seen in 100 Mile House.

A team of seven BC Wildfire firefighters are responding via helicopter, according to fire information officer Jessica Mack.

Mack said a request for heavy equipment and backup has been received and that equipment is en route along with additional personnel, another helicopter, and an air tanker.

No structures are currently at risk, Mack said. BC Wildfire is working on containing the fire.

The fire is suspected to be human-caused. No local fire department is responding to the blaze at this time.

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