Crews prepare for drier weather impacting Puntzi Lake wildfire

In anticipation of predicted drier conditions, 40 extra firefighters will be arriving Thursday to help fight the Puntzi Lake wildfire.

In anticipation of predicted drier conditions, 40 extra firefighters will be arriving Thursday to help fight the Puntzi Lake wildfire.

“It is mostly a smouldering ground fire now and the rain has helped with suppression efforts, but yesterday we did see some wind and warmer temperatures and increased fire behaviour in some areas,” said fire information officer Emily Epp from the Puntzi Air Tanker Base Wednesday. “There were Rank 4 fires in a few areas and we are expecting more of that as it warms up again.”

The fire size remains at 8,089 hectares, and by Wednesday was 40 per cent contained on the southwest flank.

Today 97 firefighters, 18 pieces of heavy equipment, three helicopters and 43 support personnel will continue working on all sides of the fire extending control lines and mopping up more active areas.

“We expect by Thursday there will be 200 of us at the fire camp,” Epp said, noting the 40 extra firefighters will be the Stormwater unit from 100 Mile House and the Blackwater unit from Quesnel.

Epp said the Puntzi base is about 10 kilometres as the crow flies from the wildfire.