Help is on its way to Lumby.
The Canadian Armed Forces are heading to the Harris Creek wildfire Thursday morning to assist with the 511 hectare blaze.
“It should be in a stage of control that will allow the armed forces to conduct mop up operations,” said Shelley Zupp, fire information officer.
As B.C. Wildfire Service crews have been battling many of the Monashee Complex fires more than two weeks now, the assistance is appreciated.
“We’re very grateful to the armed forces for coming in to help us reinforce our crews,” said Zupp, as firefighters work 14 days straight and then take a mandatory two days off to refresh.
Crews are making progress on the fires, including Harris Creek, where successful burn operations have been taking place to clean up unburned fuels. The fire is now mapped at 511 hectares, up from 508.
There are currently 35 personnel working the Harris Creek fire, supported by nine pieces of heavy equipment and air support as needed.
Over at the 1,861 hectare Mabel Creek blaze crews are continuing to reinforce containment on the west and north flanks for potential planned ignition that may take place later this week, weather permitting.
“They are to reduce the risk to fire fighter safety as they work to suppress the fire,” said Zupp.
There are 17 personnel, eight pieces of heavy equipment and air support if needed at Mabel.
“BCWS ground resources continue to make good progress on this fire.”
The Whip Creek blaze, near the Mabel Creek fire, is now an estimated 504 hectares – up from the 173 hectares last week.
The Sugar Mountain fire is now 394 hectares (up from 332 last week) and is now in a monitored status.
“BCWS continue to assess and evaluate where resources will be allocated in the next few days.”
Near Frank’s Store, the Woodward Creek fire doubled in size Monday, following substantial growth over the weekend and now sits at an estimated 100 hectares.
The wildfire exhibited more active wildfire activity Monday night, but crews were planning a burn operation Tuesday in order to increase containment by bringing a fuel free zone up to the fire guard.
“The planned ignition will be visible from Highway 6 and surrounding communities,” said Zupp, adding the fire will grow in size.
There are 20 personnel and eight pieces of heavy equipment actioning that blaze.
The Sprokton Creek fire is now being held at 23 hectares and responding well to suppression efforts. There are six personnel on mop up and reinforcing the northern guard.
Meanwhile firefighters appreciate the local support seen in the area. A hand-made sign was posted on Mabel Lake Forest Service Road which read: “Fire Fighter and Fire Crews we Thank You,” by a couple of youngsters.
After a tough week battling the fires, crew member Tommy Williams saw the sign Friday and it brightened his day.
“I was driving to work this morning running on caffeine and losing faith in our control of this fire when I came around the corner and at the entrance to Cottonwood Campsite I see this sign and it just hit me and gave me the drive to dig in and make a difference protecting these people and their cabins is what are are doing, the trees will grow back, so thank you!”
Rose Derry said it was the idea of her children, Jessie (11) and Cody (six), to put the sign up, with some help from family as everyone truly appreciates the efforts being made.
Should more be done to fight fires not threatening structures to cut down on smoke?
Vernon Morning Star