After 83 days burning, the Elephant Hill fire is under control.
As of the morning of Sept. 27, the fire was listed as 100 per cent contained on the BC Wildfire Service’s website, and is now defined as “under control.”
“Under control means there has been enough suppression activity on the fire to mean that we do not expect any continued growth,” says Fire Information Officer Jody Lucius.
“That is a testament to the hard work that the firefighters have done over the course of the summer and the cooler wetter weather that we have been getting on the fire over the last little while,” she says.
While there are still crews working on the fire — 54 firefighters, one helicopter and eight pieces of heavy equipment — Lucius says that will diminish in the coming days as work does wrap up.
Under control does not mean the fire is out, however.
“People in the area around the Elephant Hill wildfire will continue to see smoke and potentially flame for the coming period. It could be up to a couple months depending on the weather,” says Lucius.
“Certainly as long as that smoke and flame is within the perimeter of the fire then it will be allowed to just burn itself out. If those smokes are outside of the perimeter or threatening any structures or values, however, we will send crews to work on that.”
Area restrictions remain in place for the general public around the Elephant Hill fire.
“It is still an active fire and an active worksite, so for public safety, we are still asking people unless they are part of the restriction exemption to remain out of that area.”
For a fire that began on July 6, Lucius says crews are happy to have achieved the new status.
“It is a pretty significant status change. We have been working towards containment, of course, all summer and over the last few weeks in particular we’ve seen that number grow quite substantially,” she says. “There’s been a lot of firefighters and a lot of crews and a lot of support staff out there all summer and so it’s really culminating in this as the result of a lot of hard work.”