Elephant Hill Fire Flares Up Again
Prince George, B.C. – The Elephant Hill wildfire – which is burning north of Ashcroft and Cache Creek and east of Clinton – has flared up again.
The 61,500-hectare blaze – which started July 6 – pushed over the western containment lines towards the Bonaparte River yesterday due to easterly winds.
It prompted the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to expand evacuation orders for several properties northeast of Clinton last night.
There are no immediate threats to structures at this time.
“The expansion of the Elephant Hill wildfire yesterday was due to several days of warm conditions and gusty winds from the east – not controlled burns,” says the BC Wildfire Service. “The BC Wildfire Service only conducts controlled burns to manage aggressive wildfires when conditions are safe, and yesterday’s winds were too variable and gusty to do so.”
It adds “all available options to manage the wildfire’s growth yesterday will be assessed over the coming days, including airtanker operations and controlled burns if it is safe and feasible to do so.”
Those controlled burns could begin today depending on site and weather conditions and would be conducted to contain recent growth on the western side, to the north of Loon Lake, above Back Valley Road, and along the southeast and east flanks of the Elephant Hill fire.
If they go ahead, the BC Wildfire Service says smoke columns, open flames and increased amounts of smoke may be visible from the communities of Cache Creek, Clinton and surrounding areas.
About 300 firefighting personnel are currently assigned to the fire along with 60 pieces of heavy equipment, 50 structural protection specialists, and 60 support staff and air support.