Elephant Hill Fire Continues to Threaten Clinton
Prince George, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service is throwing additional resources into the fight to control the Elephant Hill fire which is threatening the Village of Clinton and surrounding areas.
The fire behavior has been increasing to the north and west and resources have had to be reallocated in an attempt to maintain containment and deal with fire escaping through that containment. The fire covers more than 70,000 hectares but that figure is expected to increase substantially once the heavy, billowing smoke clears, allowing Wildfire officials a better look at what’s happening on the ground.
The fire is said to be 30% contained at this point however the public is advised that it is still burning out of control, fuelled by extremely dry forest floor materials.
The original firefighting camp on the Elephant Hill fire remains in operation in Cache Creek and now a second camp has been established in Clinton itself.
There are 357 firefighters battling the massive fire along with 20 helicopters and 69 pieces of heavy equipment. The firefighting contingent includes BC Wildfire crews, out of province firefighters and contract crews. There is also an incident management team, 78 support staff and 108 structure protection personnel working on the fire. Air tankers are flying in to assist ground crews as well.
The interface fire has impacted structures to the northeast of Clinton and last night an Evacuation Order was issued for the entire Village of Clinton. That order was later expanded to include the Chasm Mill site north of the community.
Highway 97 is now closed from 70 Mile House to the junction with Highway 99, north of Cache Creek. The only exception is for southbound evacuees from Clinton who are heading to evacuation facilities in Kamloops.