The Chief Louie Lake wildfire has continued to blaze since it was first discovered on July 7.
As of Wednesday, July 30, the fire which first started in Tweedsmuir Park due to lightning, was at 18,338 ha and was classified as “out of control”. At the time, there were five firefighters working on the fire.
According to the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) dashboard, heavy equipment objectives for the northern and eastern flanks of the fire have now been completed, and the crews are continuing to search and extinguish hot spots based on thermal scan results on northern and eastern flanks. They are also monitoring the fire as weather conditions change.
The other fire in the area, which prompted evacuations in the Rose Lake area, is now “under control”. The Bulkley Lake fire, which started on July 7 as well, had authorities from the regional district and the Wet’suwet’en First Nation send out evacuation orders. The fire is now however under control after days of efforts from the firefighters. The cause for the fire is still under investigation and according to BCWS, it can take months to complete an investigation to determine a cause.
The Poplar mountain wildfire, roughly 35 kilometres south of Houston, which had caused panic amongst residents, is now under control as well. This fire was also caused by lightning according to BCWS.
All three fires continue to remain “active” and while the Poplar mountain and Bulkley Lake fires are under control, Tweedsmuir Park continues to remain a fire of note.
Currently the firefighters in Burns Lake and Houston are deployed in various places around the province. Four from the Burns Lake crew are deployed in Nelson, four in Kamloops, and 18 in Penticton. Four office staff has also been deployed across the province to participate on incident management with various fires.
A four person crew from Houston is currently on the Chief Louie Lake fire along with one supervisor, an initial attack crew made up of four is deployed in Atlin and another initial attack crew made of five firefighters from Houston is in Nelson.
In total, 1,261 fires have raged throughout the province this year of which 241 were active fires as of July 30. Four of these active fires were in the Northwest fire centre, 49 were in the Prince George fire centre, 81 in the Kamloops fire centre, 65 in the Southeast fire centre, Cariboo had 38 active fires and Island fire centre had four active fires.
While 166 of these active fires were lightning-caused, 16 were human-caused and cause for 59 fires remains unknown.
Starting July 28, the campfire ban throughout the Northwest fire centre was rescinded. There are no forest use restrictions in the area either. The category 2 and 3 open fire ban has continued to remain in place.