Firefighters will continue to use air tankers and helicopters Thursday to battle the Flat Lake wildfire, now listed at 8,725 hectares.
BC Wildfire Service said the fire growth continues to be primarily to the east, towards Highway 97, and to the north but has not yet reached Highway 97, which has been reopened following a closure Wednesday. An advisory remains in place regarding smoky conditions in the area and the highway could be closed again on short notice, BCWS said in an update.
Heavy equipment has been establishing machine guards and connecting to existing features, such as roads and lakes, which serve as natural fuel breaks, while helicopters will continue to support with bucketing activities Thursday, BC Wildfire Service information officer Erin Bull said Thursday. She noted the aggressive fire behaviour has prevented ground crews from directly fighting the blaze.
“The fire activity is challenging,” she said.
The BCWS said additional fire growth is expected today due to wind conditions.
The opportunity for controlled aerial ignitions is being examined on the west flank of the fire to bring the edge of the fire to a control line in an area workable by ground crews. Ignitions will only occur if conditions are suitable.
Several evacuation orders and alerts remain in place, including an evacuation alert for 100 Mile House and the Horse Lake/ Sheridan Lake area.
The Cariboo Regional District has put out an evacuation order for 1,074 properties from Flat Lake to Green Lake North as well as 3,086 parcels of land that covers 47,905 hectares in the Horse Lake and Sheridan Lake communities.
Residents living in the Horse Lake and Sheridan Lake area are asked to make a plan to transport all family members out of the area if needed and to keep essential items ready for a quick departure. Pets and livestock should also be ready to move or placed in a safe area. It is also advised that potential evacuees ensure they have 72 hours worth of supplies.