A wildfire south of Canim Lake continues to burn out of control. (Martina Dopf photo - 100 Mile Free Press).

A wildfire south of Canim Lake continues to burn out of control. (Martina Dopf photo - 100 Mile Free Press).

Firefighters still battling 56 wildfires in Cariboo: Wildfire update

Twenty-eight of the fires are in the 100 Mile zone

  • Jul. 18, 2021 5:56 p.m.

Firefighters continue to battle 56 active wildfires in the Cariboo region, with 28 in the 100 Mile zone. A total of 19,815 hectares have been burned, according to the latest BC Wildfire update Sunday.

At this time, there are no backcountry closures but with the fire danger rating in the Chilcotin, Central, and 100 Mile Zones remaining high to extreme, people are asked to “remain vigilant and act responsibly when recreating in the backcountry,” the update said.

There are nine wildfires of note in the region, including three burning out of control in the “northeast complex” – the area north of Highway 24 and east of Highway 97.There are currently 35 firefighters, 64 pieces of equipment and 12 helicopters available to respond to these fires, which include:

Flat Lake WildFire:

BC Wildfire said planned ignitions were set for the southeast flank of the Flat Lake fire Sunday afternoon, if conditions permit. The ignition area was south of Bishop and Eighty-Three Lakes, west of the powerlines and north but parallel to Stormy Road. Smoke will be visible from Highway 97 and surrounding communities.

Crews were also using heavy equipment to establish and gain access in the area to the southeast of the fire. Structural protection specialists have assessed and deployed structural protection units on properties on the west side of the highway, according to the update.

BCWS said aerial ignitions were successfully completed on a small portion of the southeast flank of the fire on Friday, which helped to reduce the fire perimeter, allowing water skimmers to action the fire in conjunction with the ignition. Opportunities for aerial ignitions in other areas of the fire will continue to be assessed.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District on Saturday upgraded an evacuation alert to order for the Bonaparte Plateau in the vicinity of Gustafsen and Neilson Lakes. An additional evacuation alert issued by the TNRD remains in place, as does an evacuation order and alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District. The District of 100 Mile House has also issued an evacuation alert.

South of Canim Lake Wildfire:

Crews Sunday were working to establish a hose lay on the northeast corner, moving south along the established guard. BC Wildfire Service said they are also monitoring the east flank, and continue to work the southwest corner and black line the west flank. Heavy equipment continues work on fireguards.

Structure protection personnel have also been deployed, but decreased visibility has made accurate tracking “challenging” in recent days. The fire is an estimated 2,343-hectares.

An evacuation order remains in place for the south side of Canim Lake remains in place. The north side of Canim Lake remains on evacuation alert.

Succour Lake Wildfire:

BC Wildfire Service said has been minimal growth of this 529-ha wildfire over the last 10 days and it is not threatening any communities or access roads at this time. Ground crews actively worked on suppressing the southeast corner however, the hose lay equipment has been demobilized at this time and the BC Wildfire Service will continue to monitor the fire. Resources are working nearby and will respond to the fire if necessary.

The evacuation alerts issued by the Cariboo Regional District for the north side and west side of Canim Lake remain in place.

Other fires of note include:

Chasm Wildfire

Increased activity Saturday on the west flank yesterday resulted in a small excursion in this wildfire, estimated at 374 hectares in size. The small spot fire was bucketed by helicopters and blanketed with retardant by air tankers. The fire is about one kilometre from Highway 97. Skimmers were on site Sunday to assist crews in cooling down the hot spot for crews to continue mopping up.

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Young Lake Wildfire

The Young Lake wildfire, 35 kilometres southeast of 70 Mile House, is estimated at 846 hectares. Minimal fire growth was observed on the fire Saturday. This fire is being managed by the Sparks Lake Incident Management Team.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District issued an evacuation order for a total of 56 properties. An additional 231 properties in the area remain on evacuation alert.

, has prompted the Thompson Nicola Regional District to evacuate 117 properties in Electoral Area E (Bonaparte Plateau) Wednesday and put another 170 on alert.

Purdy Lake

No significant growth has occurred over the past several days on the wildfire, estimated to be 7,900 hectares in size. Crews have taken advantage of favorable conditions and have made notable progress with fire suppression.

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by the Cariboo Regional District. This evacuation alert area now borders the evacuation order and evacuation alert issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako for the Grizzly Lake wildfire in the Prince George Fire Centre.

McKinley Lake

Crews were patrolling the edges of the fire and actioning hot spots Sunday after no new growth over the past few days. Crews and equipment are continuing to establish a guard on the north side. The McKinley Lake wildfire is 1,834 hectares in size.

An Evacuation Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District for Crooked Lake remains in effect.

Big Stick Lake

This wildfire was fairly calm Saturday with the cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity on site, BCWS said. At 5,850 hectares in size, this fire has impacted Highway 20. Highway 20 near Kleena Kleene is open, with Dawson Road Maintenance piloting members of the public through when it is safe to do so. Crews are working today to keep Hwy 20 protected. Telus fibre optic lines in the area have not been compromised.

An Evacuation Order is in effect for the Big Stick wildfire area. This order replaces the Evacuation Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District on July 10.

An Evacuation Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District has been expanded and remains in effect for the Big Stick wildfire area.

Hotnarko Creek

The Hotnarko Creek wildfire is estimated at 1,500 hectares. Firefighters and heavy equipment are working along the east side today. Highway 20 is now fully open to Bella Coola, though the highway may be closed with limited notice if wildfire activity increases. Crews and equipment are still working in the area of Hwy 20. We are asking drivers to slow down near crews and equipment.

There are also 10 active wildfires burning in In the Quesnel Fire Zone, there are five fires are now classified as under control, one fire is being held, and four are out of control.

In the Central Cariboo Zone, there are seven active wildfires burning. Two fires are now classified as under control and five are out of control.


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100 Mile HouseB.C. Wildfires 2021Cariboo Regional DistrictWilliams Lake