Gustafsen Fire 90 Per Cent Contained
Prince George, B.C. – Great news for South Cariboo residents as the 5,700-hectare Gustafsen fire just west of 100 Mile House is now 90 per cent contained and crews are working to extinguish hot spots.
Navi Sani of the BC Wildfire Service confirmed the news during a teleconference today. The blaze broke out July 6 and forced the evacuation of the town of roughly 2,000 people July 9.
It also caused evacuation orders and alerts for the nearby communities of 108 Mile House, 105 Mile, 103 Mile and the western side of Lac La Hache. The cause remains under investigation.
Despite the progress however Sani reminded reporters that wind is in the forecast tomorrow and that the fire season is still young.
“It’s very early in the fire season still. To see the activity, we’ve had. That’s why we’re encouraging the public to be cautious in the backcountry.”
Aside from the Gustafsen fire, Sani said there are 161 fires currently burning in B.C. and 14 of those started yesterday (13 lightning caused, one human-caused).
She says 730 fires have burnt 361,802 hectares across B.C. and have cost the province $122 million this year (the fire season started April 1).
As for other fires of note, Sani said:
- The Hanceville fire (west of Williams Lake) is 132,351 hectares and zero per cent contained though crews are busy building guards around it.
- Wildwood Complex fire (just north of Williams Lake) is 13,215 hectares.
- White Lake fire (northwest of Williams Lake) is 8,107 hectares and 10 per cent contained.
- Elephant Hill fire (near Ashcroft) is 58,363 hectares and 30 per cent contained.
Chris Duffy with Emergency Management BC added there are still 52 evacuation orders and 39 evacuation alerts in effect across British Columbia.
He also said BC Hydro has restored power to over 44,000 homes leaving about 500 without (though crews continue to work on those outages. Just over 44,000 people have registered with the Red Cross as evacuees).