The Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire increased Saturday due to high winds in the area, said fire information officer Marg Drysdale Sunday.
Estimated at 193,894 hectares, the fire pushed past the northwest corner control lines of the fire taking a 16-kilometre run Saturday.
“And in the Bald Mountain area, we definitely had some challenges as the fire showed very vigorous rank five and six behaviour and jumped the highway,” Drysdale said. “That is why we recommended closing the highway. It has re-opened now, but we are asking people to be cautious because crews and equipment are moving along the roadway.”
As of Sunday morning, there are 248 firefighters, 86 pieces of heavy equipment and 14 helicopters actioning the fire along with an incident management team and support staff.
There are two camps managing the fire — one at Riske Creek and the other at the Old School Training and Recreation Complex on Stack Valley Road.
Members of the Canadian Military arrived at the Old School Sunday afternoon and will be deployed to help with mop up, Drysdale said, noting there is a Mexican contingent of firefighters staying at the Old School as well.
Here the army is seen leaving Williams Lake for Riske Creek.
While the area did not receive lightning overnight, on Sunday the area experienced two hours of lightning and some precipitation in isolated areas, Drysdale said.
“We received rain at the camp at Riske Creek but whether or not the rain fell on the fires or not we don’t know yet.”
She confirmed a structure was lost in the wildfire flare up Saturday but did not have any details.
Drysdale hails from the Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville and is part of the incident management team that arrived to work on the fire Saturday.
Agreeing it was a hectic first day, Drysdale also said at least she brought some rain from the coast with her.
BC Hydro reports that there is a power outage Sunday impacting 23 customers south east of the Old Farwell Canyon Road, with the cause under investigation.
The power has been off since about 11:45 a.m.
Like everyone in the Chilcotin, the Petal family of Anaham has been impacted by wildfires for the last month.
The family’s home and ranch are safe but now their hay meadows and cabins are being threatened by the Tautri Lake complex northwest of Williams Lake.
Harvey Petal said the fire is only seven kilometres from Palmer lake and claimed a buncher Saturday night. According to BC Wildfire Service Complex fire is aggresive and has grown to more than 90,000 hectares.
Here are some recent photos taken by Harvey.
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