Update: Aug. 01, 8 p.m.
Good progress has been made on the Horsefly Lake fire, according to Cariboo Regional District communications manager Emily Epp and BC Wildfire Service communications specialist Jessica Mack.
The two gave an update this evening following the day’s briefings among staff.
“There hasn’t been any growth over the day,” said Mack, noting all the growth on the fire was seen Tuesday evening during a wind storm.
“They’ve been making really good progress.”
Mack said there are currently 4o firefighters, three aircraft as well as equipment working the Horsefly Lake fire.
The intention of the crew is to remove fuel and wrap the entire fire with a fire guard.
Epp said the evacuation alert issued Wednesday morning by the CRD remains status quo, and is in place due to the potential for access issues should the fire grow.
“There is no imminent threat of an evacuation order,” Epp said, noting the road is open to the public.
Both said today was an optimistic day on the fire.
Update Aug. 01, 6:30 p.m.
The BC Wildfire Service comfirmed the Horsefly Lake fire is estimated at 450 hectares in size.
The fire continues to threaten access to 93 properties located in an area known locally as the junction at Quesnel Lake.
Members of the RCMP and Central Cariboo Search and Rescue (CCCSAR) carried out evacuation alert notices to seasonal and permanent residents on Quesnel Lake and Horsefly Lake Wednesday impacted by the fire.
CCSAR IS activated for evacs alerts
— CCSAR (@CCARIBOOSAR) August 1, 2018
Some residents chose to leave voluntarily while others have remained within the alert area.
Residents are also reporting that smoke is thick in the area.
Update: Aug. 01, 2 p.m.
BC Wildfire Service said there are 40 firefighters, six pieces of heavy equipment and three helicopters on site at the Horsefly Lake fire. Airtankers are available and will be requested, if necessary.
“Heavy equipment is focusing on putting in a fuel-free guard and ground crews are working on containment of the fire,” said BC Wildfire Service.
The Horsefly Lake fire is considered an Interface fire with 93 properties impacted.
Update Aug. 01, 12 p.m.:
The Horsefly Lake fire has been upgraded to a wildfire of note Wednesday morning, burning at 50 hectares.
The BC Wildfire Service said the fire is active and zero per cent contained, fueled by winds Tuesday evening and the type of forest fuel in the area.
Currently there are 40 firefighters and one helicopter on this fire. Air tankers were on the fire Tuesday prior to it growing during a wind storm.
The fire, located north of Horsefly Lake and west of Haggens Point Road, is highly visible from the community of Horsefly.
Members of the Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department have also been attending fires.
There is currently an evacuation alert in place for the area due to potential loss of access if fire grows.
Two families on Horsefly Lake near Cougar Bay self-evacuated Tuesday evening due to the threat of a growing wildfire.
Al Bush said he and his wife packed their dogs, photographs and valuables and made sure their elderly neighbours were out before leaving their seasonal home for fear of being trapped by the Viewland Creek wildfire, fanned by a strong wind and lightning storm that swept through the region during the dinner hour.
“It stretches for two or three kilometres wide at the top,” said Bush late Tuesday evening from Williams Lake of the fire, located between Viewland Mountain and Horsefly Lake.
“It’s big. It just blew up from the wind storm.”
Bush said earlier in the day it looked like the BC Wildfire Service crews had made good progress on the fires, which were caused by lightning.
“The bombers were there and it looked like they had it out but the storm fanned everything. We could see it candling over the mountain.”
Bush said he clocked the winds at 20 mph blowing away from his home for about a half hour before it shifted and aimed straight for their home.
“That’s when we decided to get out of there, because we have to drive toward the fire to get out.”
Bush said as they were leaving the winds began to die down and the fire slowed.
He also saw a bull dozer on the road headed toward the fire.
“We’re hopeful its not going to come any further.”
Horsefly and Quesnel Lake areas saw more than a dozen new lightning-caused fires start up Tuesday, July 31.
The BC Wildfire Service map shows a line of new starts between the two large lakes starting at Spirit Isle, Lemon Lake Forest Service Road, Horsefly Mountain, Viewland Creek, Horsefly Lake, Horn Bluff, two miles north of Hen Ingram Lake, Hen Ingram Forest Service Road, two kilometres South Quartz Mountain, Bouldary Creek Road, three kilometres East Warttig Lake, Lynx Creek, two kilometres south of Summit Creek, Blue Lead Creek, Stranger Lake and the junction at Quesnel Lake.
All of those fires are listed as being less than a hectare in size, with the exception of the South Quartz Mountain fire which is listed as 20 hectares. That fire is visble to boaters on the east arm of Quesnel Lake.
Out west, there is a 30 hectare fire burning in the Sheep Range Park. That fire is listed as new, and lightning-caused.
There are two other new fires in that area listed as under a hectare in size; one on the 2000 Road, and the other at the south end of the Chilcotin River.