BC Wildfire Service map.

UPDATE: Lightning reportedly caused 75 new wildfires in Cariboo Fire Centre

The Horsefly Lake fire is now a fire-of-note at 50 hectares

Update at 3:25 p.m.

Seventy-five new wildfires have sparked in the Cariboo Fire Centre since Tuesday, July 31.

Fire information officer Jessica Mack said in an email Wednesday afternoon that 63 of the fires are out-of-control, eight are under control, two are being held and two have extinguished.

These fires include 12 in Quesnel, 24 in 100 Mile House, 23 in Horsefly, six in the Chilcotin and nine in and around Williams Lake.

Ground crews are still working to contain the 50 hectare fire-of-note at Horsefly Lake and heavy equipment is working at putting in a fuel-free guard.

Mack is still not in a position where she can provide specific updates on every fire as detailed information is not yet available.

“Our main focus is fire suppression,” and making sure no communities or structures are in danger, she said. “Thankfully, at this time there are not any immediate threats.”

Mack will be meeting with staff at the fire centre this evening and will be able to provide an update tomorrow morning regarding today’s activity and crew objectives.

Mack asked for understanding at a time when they are responding to “a multitude of wildfires” and said they are doing their best to provide information.

Original story, 11:40 a.m.

Lightning storms on the evening of Tuesday, July 31, caused 65 new wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre, according to BC Wildfire Service.

Jessica Mack, the Cariboo’s fire information officer, said in an email Wednesday morning that 55 of the fires are considered out of control, five are under control and one is being held.

The fire in the Horsefly area has been upgraded to a fire-of-note, burning at 50 hectares.

In a follow-up phone call, Mack’s colleague Tracy Freeman said they are unable to provide a more detailed update on each fire at this time because they are working on getting updates, themselves.

She suggested looking to the BC Wildfire active wildfire interactive map for the most up-to-date information.

The map currently shows 58 fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre. Fires are put onto the map when they are sending crews out to investigate an incident. Fires may not necessarily be confirmed.

When asked if it’s possible to identify which of the 58 fires are confirmed, Freeman said, “Unfortunately we just don’t have the time to do that.”

Crews are currently concentrating on fire suppression and Freeman said they should be able to send updates on each fire by the end of the day, between 6 and 11 p.m.

The Cariboo Regional District issued an evacuation alert Wednesday morning for the Haggen’s Point and Hen Ingram Lake areas along the south side of Quesnel Lake. The CRD tweeted earlier this morning that the alert is due to potential roadblocks due to nearby wildfires. The alert affects 93 properties.

The Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre also issued an evacuation order Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. in the Tatelkus Lake area, roughly 131 km west of Quesnel. The CRD’s EOC said in the news release that the Chutanli Lake Wildfire, which was estimated at 736 hectares, spurred the alert. The alert affects two properties.

BC Wildfire Service tweeted earlier this morning that 132 new wildfires started in the province yesterday because of lightning. It is now responding to 305 wildfires across B.C.


beth.audet@100milefreepress.net

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