Update 5 p.m.: The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) has implemented an area restriction order for the vicinity of the Cutoff Creek wildfire southwest of Vanderhoof effective 6 p.m. Thursday, July 8.
Continued drying patterns and a return to south-westerly winds have fuelled the spread of the wildfire of note in the Prince George Fire Centre (PGFC).
As of late Thursday, July 8, the Cutoff Creek fire approximately two kilometers north of Big Bend Arm is estimated at 6,064 hectares.
Just a few hours earlier the fire was listed at an estimated 1,928 hectares.
“The size of the area restriction reflects the continued need to protect the public in areas where there are ongoing fire suppression activities,” BCWS stated in an information bulletin.
Until September 30, 2021, or until the order is rescinded individuals must not remain in or enter the restricted area without the prior written authorization of a designated official unless the person enters the area in the course of:
- travelling to their principle residence that is not under an evacuation order;
- travelling to or from private or leased property for the purposes of accessing a secondary residence or recreational property that is not under an evacuation order;
- travelling as a person acting in an official capacity;
- travelling for the purpose of supporting wildfire suppression activities; and
- engaging and/or participating in agricultural activities pertaining to livestock or vineyard management on private or leased property.
Crews backed with aerial support and equipment continued to work on securing the south flank of the fire.
“The latest reports are that this has been successful, but we are awaiting confirmation from the field,” said PGFC communications specialist Sharon Nickel.
Nickel said burnoff operations would continue as opportunities arise.
“BC Wildfire Service is preparing for indirect attack and parallel attack adjacent to the fire perimeter, burning back into the fire, if possible,” she added.
An evacuation alert remains in place for the area from approximately 60 kilometres south along Kenney Dam Road to Knewstubb Lake and six kilometres west of Kluskus Forest Service Road along the Natalkuz 500 Road to Knewstubb Lake.
Current challenges are the continued hot, dry weather and limited resources provincially, Nickel said.
“Being aware of fatigue for crews is important as the safety of personnel is paramount.”
Meanwhile, more accurate mapping of the Chilako fire resulted in it being listed at 1,451 hectares, down from the previously estimated 1,471 hectares.
Nickel said control lines have been established on the fire, and hand-lit burn operations are being conducted to clean pockets of unburnt fuel.