Firefighters attacked a fire near Chimney Lake yesterday, says Fire Information Officer Mike McCulley.
“It’s something we attacked very hard. We used air tankers and quite a few ground crew, helicopter bucketing, and we had good luck there. Approximately, a hectare in size but we expect no new growth. We believe we’ve managed to keep that one small and in the early stages. That’s kind of the story for all of the [new] fires.”
McCulley says he’s proud of the crews who’ve been doing an excellent job of initial attack, keeping everything to about a hectare or less.
“There was some lightning mostly in the north central eastern part of the fire centre. Probably not as much as we were expecting but there’s a chance of lightning again today. We’re looking at about a 30 per cent chance of the eastern two-thirds of the Cariboo Fire Centre.”
Initial attack crews are on red alert and will be using air tankers and other aircraft to keep the fires small, he says.
McCulley also gave some more details about why the backcountry ban was amended down to 12 area restrictions surrounding active fires and ATVs.
“The restriction itself was an extraordinary event. I mean we don’t do that often. It was put in play because of the massive state of emergency and the dire circumstance we were in. We’ve had some rain, the risk has been lowered, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer. We’re feeling a little more comfortable about where we’re at and we certainly didn’t feel the need to continue to … maximize impact on people.”
He says they always try to normalize things as quickly as they can.
“We know there’s still some risk but we are asking people to abide by the campfire ban that’s in play, the off-road vehicle restriction that’s still in play and to use good common sense and be extremely cautious out there. It’s not a green light to just head out into the woods and do whatever you like.”
Evacuation orders still override any other restrictions, says McCulley.