Plateau Officially Largest Fire on Record in BC
Prince George, B.C.- The Plateau fire, which is burning north of Highway 20, north west of Williams Lake and west of Quesnel, will go in the record books as the largest fire ever known in B.C.
The fire, which is the result of 19 smaller fires merging, has burned 467,461 hectares so far. “There has been not much growth on this fire” says Kevin Skrepnek, Chief Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Service “Activity is certainly spreading smoke, but we are seeing limited spread and that’s good news, and that’s because of a lot of hard work on the ground and much more cooperative weather.”
There are more than 416 firefighters, 28 helicopters and 92 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire from two different incident command teams.
The second largest fire on record was in the high 200 thousand hectare range.
The Hanceville -Riske Creek fire is now estimated to have burned 227 thousand hectares , making it the third largest fire on record in B.C. This fire, saw some successful suppression operations yesterday says Skrepnek ” We did some planned ignitions on the fire that went quite well.”
The third major fire is the Elephant Hill fire, burning north of Cache Creek. This fire is now 35% contained, and its size has been held to 168 thousand hectares “I am happy to say the size is static at 168 thousand hectares” says Skrepnek. He says the fire remains active but is staying within control lines at this point.
But, everything could change, once again later this week as a cold front is expected to come through the Province, possibly bringing gusty winds, and may bring some rain, although Skrepnek says it’s difficult to say how much rain may accompany the system. “If that cold front is relatively dry we are likely going to see an increase in activity.”