250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 3:53 pm

Several Fires Have Merged

Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 1:47 PM

Prince George, B.C.- A number of fires burning north of highway 20, have merged into one major blaze  which  is now the largest fire burning in the province.  It is  now labelled the Plateau fire.

The Plateau fire  is estimated to be 438,772  hectares. “Because of the size of it,  and it covering such a huge area,  it is being managed by two incident management teams says BC Wildfire Service  Chief Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek.

There are more than 500  firefighters,  24 helicopters and 115 pieces of heavy equipment  battling this blaze.  Skrepnek  says the  size of this fire  does pose logistical challenges. “If you were to measure  it end to end, it’s in the neighbourhood of 130 kilometers from one edge to the other.”

He says  one of the challenges is  the way the fire is burning, “Not in a neat tidy box by any stretch of the imagination,  it’s got fingers and flanks and  different aspects right across this area.  So the logistical challenges for us surrounds, where do we  house our firefighters so they are close to the fire as possible, but still in an area  that is serviceable where we can set up a camp?  How do we divide up the boundaries of the fire so  we know  who is dealing with what,  and just the general movement of people  whether its by road or by aircraft so that we can get  our staff to the fire line as  effectively  as possible.  That’s why we have set up in multiple  locations around the fire, based on access routes in the area.”

137 fires are burning  across the province right now,   including 12 new fires which started yesterday.  The  estimated total  of hectares burned is now 981 thousand.

Some fires did see some rain  “Certainly welcome” says Skrepnek.but adds the rain  has by no means reduced the risk.

While the weather has brought cooler temperatures,  another cold front is expected to move into the  province  Wednesday and Thursday  and that means another wind event in the region where rain has been scarce and  fires continue to rage.





Comments for this article are closed.