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Weather helps BC Wildfire Service get a handle on Cariboo’s northwest fires

The Gillies Complex Incident Management Team provides an update on 4 major fires
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The Branch Road wildfire (C11243) is now classified as Being Held at 1,350 hectares in size. This status change means that the wildfire is not expected to spread beyond predetermined boundaries under current conditions. (BCWS photo)

Rain, cooler weather and light winds are helping in the Cariboo’s battles against wildfires in the northwest corner of the region.

In an update Tuesday morning, July 25, the BC Wildfire Service noted there are four active fires being managed by the Gillies Complex Incident Management Team with a total fire size of 15,298 hectares.

Of the four fires, two are currently listed as ‘Out of Control’, with Townsend Creek (C11290) and Branch Road (C11243) being updated to ‘Being Held’ July 24.

TEEPEE LAKE (C11499) - 7,287 ha

More favorable fire weather conditions are leading to benign fire activity around most parts of the TeePee Lake fire perimeter, located northwest of Quesnel.

“Persisting favorable fire weather conditions are enabling firefighters – supported by heavy equipment – to maintain operational focus on establishing and consolidating guards – both machine and hand constructed – and have successfully implemented guards along the previously active north-eastern extent,” noted the BCWS.

“Local firefighters and support personnel will be joined today by 100 firefighters from Brazil who arrived in camp yesterday afternoon. This significant increase in ground resources will speed up operational tempo to achieve strategic outcomes whilst conditions remain favorable over the coming days.”

Fire activity may increase throughout the warmer parts of the day, with landholders in the vicinity noticing an increase in smoke as a result.

An Evacuation Order - issued by the Cariboo Regional District - remains in place for the Teepee Lake Area.

An Evacuation Alert - issued by the Cariboo Regional District - remains in place for the Teepee Lake and Rainbow Lake areas.

The Teepee Lake fire is a wildfire of note, was detected July 10 and is considered out of control.

PELICAN LAKE (C11437) - 3,876 ha

“Fire continues to remain most active in the vicinity of Alec Meadow Road in the south-east, however, more favorable fire weather conditions are leading to benign fire activity around most parts of the fire perimeter. Rain showers fell across the region late yesterday afternoon and throughout the evening,” noted the BCWS.

Firefighters – supported by heavy equipment – are working to establish a guards – both machine and hand – with a particular focus on the south-western extent following fire movement under easterly winds over the weekend. Planning and implementation of contingency guards is also underway, added BCWS.

The north/north-eastern extent of the fire continues to be held along guards, with the western extent of the fire (along Titetown Provincial Park) holding along a hand-constructed and natural guards.

Fire activity may increase throughout the warmer parts of the day, with landholders and motorists in the vicinity will notice an increase in smoke as a result.

An Evacuation Alert - issued by the Cariboo Regional District - remains in place for the Pelican Lake Area and Lhoosk’uz Area.

The Pelican Lake fire is considered a wildfire of note and was detected on July 9.

TOWNSEND CREEK (C11290) - 2,785 ha

“The fire perimeter has established guard, implemented utilizing heavy equipment and natural features. Firefighters will remain on scene to continue with mop up and patrol operations.

“The Gillies Complex Incident Management Team remains confident with the strategy and resources that continue to be assigned there will not be any further increase to the fire perimeter.”

On Monday the Cariboo Regional District downgraded the Evacuation Order for Townsend Creek to an Emergency Alert, with the fire status revised to ‘Being Held’.

The Townsend Creek fire will no longer be listed as a Wildfire of Note. No further detailed updates will be provided to Wildfire News unless the situation changes significantly.

Evacuation Alerts - issued by the Cariboo Regional District - remain in place for the Townsend Creek, Baker Creek and Townsend Creek #2 areas.

BRANCH ROAD (C11243) - 1,350 ha

The fire perimeter has established guard, implemented utilizing heavy equipment and natural features. Firefighters – supported by heavy equipment – will remain on scene to continue mop up and patrol operations. The Gillies Complex Incident Management Team remains confident with the strategy and resources that continue to be assigned there will not be any further increase to the fire perimeter.

“As a result of the hard work undertaken by firefighters, heavy equipment and aircraft, the fire status was revised to ‘Being Held’ mid-afternoon yesterday.”

No further detailed updates will be provided to Wildfire News unless the situation changes significantly.

An Evacuation Alert - issued by the Cariboo Regional District - remains in place for the Branch Road Area.



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Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

A desire to travel led me to a full-time photographer position at the Williams Lake Tribune in B.C.’s interior.
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