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FIRE UPDATE: Crews keep fires in the Cariboo manageable so far

Grain Creek fire largest in Cariboo Fire Centre at 20 hectares, possible campfire ban on the way

While there is a lot of heavy smoke from wildfires in the air in the Cariboo, there are currently only five small fires burning within the Cariboo Fire Centre (CFC).

The largest fire currently is the Grain Creek fire, located at the junction at Quesnel Lake east of Williams Lake.

Mark Hamm, deputy fire centre manager for the Cariboo Fire Centre, said firefighting crews from Alkali Resource Managament (ARM) are on the Grain Creek fire, which is being held at 20 hectares.

The fire is in a remote area near the lake visible from the water, and is challenging to fight due to the steep terrain but being held, Hamm said.

READ MORE: Smoke from as far away as Siberia affecting B.C. skies

Helicopters could be seen Saturday flying back and forth from the airstrip at Eylsia Resort, delivering ground crews to the fire, which is only accessible by boat or air.

The Grain Creek fire was started July 18 by lightning.

The Nazko Lake Park fire, located 18 kilometre northwest of Alexis Creek, is considered under control. That fire is estimated at 46 hectares.

At 135 Mile Tuesday, air and ground crews tackled a small fire three kilometres north of Highway 97. That fire is at .10 of a hectare.

Wednesday afternoon fire crews were responding to a new fire at 130 mile and another at 105 Mile.

READ MORE: BC Wildfire Service respond to two new fires between Williams Lake and 100 Mile House

Hamm said CFC unit crews have been deployed to the Okanagan and Southeast Fire Centre to fight fires there, with inital attack crews still stationed in Williams Lake.

“We try to manage our resources so that they go where ever they are needed,” Hamm said, noting the CFC has been lucky to receive rain this year along with the lightning storms that caused most of the fires so far.

“We’re getting one or two [fires] and we’re managing to keep them less than a hectare.”

Hamm said they are also watching the need for a campfire ban, adding residents could see one in place in the Cariboo region before the August long weekend.

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Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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