Update: A wildfire near Chilako challenged firefighters Saturday, July 3, as it exhibited extreme fire behaviour.
The lightning-caused blaze approximately 60 kilometres south of Vanderhoof has grown since it was discovered June 30 to a wildfire of note—meaning it is highly visible or poses a potential threat to public safety.
“As of this morning, the fire was exhibiting Rank 4 fire behaviour at the head,” Prince George Fire Centre (PGFC) fire information officer Alexandra Lane said Saturday afternoon.
“Crews are engaging in indirect suppression efforts due to this extreme fire behaviour.”
A total of 55 firefighters, two helicopters and eight pieces of heavy equipment were on site.
The BC Wildfire Service noted on its website that a ranking scale from 1 to 6 is used to quickly describe fire behaviour based on a set of visual indicators. For example, Rank 4 includes grey to black smoke, moderate to fast rate of spread on the ground, short aerial bursts through the forest canopy and short-range spotting.
As of July 3, at least 40 fires were burning in the PGFC.
Lane said the anticipated rain would help with fire suppression efforts in the northern sections of the Fort Nelson Zone.
“The remainder of the PGFC is expected to see variable conditions with the potential for isolated thundershowers,” she added. “Winds are expected to be calmer today than yesterday, and calmer again tomorrow.”
A lightning-sparked wildfire has been discovered approximately 60 kilometres south of Vanderhoof.
BC Wildfire Service listed the fire early Friday, July 2 as 150 hectares in size.
The out-of-control fire discovered Wednesday follows a significant amount of lightning in the past 24 hours.
“We now have 33 active fires currently burning in the Prince George Fire Centre (PGFC),” said PGFC fire information officer Hannah Harris.
Heavy equipment along with three helicopters and 22 firefighters are on-scene of the fire near Chilako.
Harris said at this time, there are no properties or structures threatened.
”The challenges crews on site are facing at this time are hot and dry conditions, sustained winds, and difficult terrain,” Harris said.
”There is the added challenge of having limited resources due to the current situation provincially.”
More than 100 wildfires were burning across the province as of Friday morning, predominately in the Cariboo, Prince George and Kamloops regions.
Officials are anticipated to provide a further update on the current wildfire situation later this afternoon.
A heat warning by Environment Canada continues to remain in place for much of B.C.