Elephant Hill Fire in British Columbia grows to 194,000 acres

The fire has been burning near Cache Creek, BC since July 6, 2017.

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map wildfires in British Columbia and Albert

Above: Satellite photo showing the location wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta, July 31, 2017. The red dots represent heat detected by the satellite.

(Originally published at 7:32 p.m. MDT July 31, 2017)

Currently there are many wildfires burning in British Columbia and Alberta. One of them is a megafire just east of Clinton, north and south of Cache Creek, and about 50 miles northwest of Kamloops. I’m not sure if it’s the Mother of All Fires, for this year anyway, but so far it has covered 78,548 hectares (194,096 acres). The BC Wildfire Service says that number is probably low, since the visibility has prevented them from conducting mapping flights for a day or two.

(More recent information about the Elephant Hill Fire and other fires in British Columbia was posted August 2, 2017.)

The recent warmer and drier weather has contributed to increased growth in recent days. On Sunday most of the spread was on the north and west sides.  The objective on the west flank is to remove excess fuel ahead of the fire, keep it south of the Bonaparte River, and slow the aggressive fire behavior. Night shift crews are working from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. to reinforce firelines.

Structure protection personnel, engines, and equipment are assigned 24 hours a day. They are working across the fire to conduct property assessments, establish sprinkler systems on structures, and protect values where needed.

Elephant Hill Fire map
Satellite photo showing smoke on the Elephant Hill Fire northwest of Kamloops, July 31, 2017. The red dots represent heat detected by the satellite.

The community of Clinton and areas to the northeast including Green Lake have been evacuated.

Resources assigned to the fire include 20 helicopters and 69 pieces of heavy equipment for a total of 359 firefighters.

The map below was current July 28, 2017.

Elephant fire map

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

12 thoughts on “Elephant Hill Fire in British Columbia grows to 194,000 acres”

  1. Not the mother of all fires here in BC. The Hanceville-Riske Creek Fire has burned more than 500,000 acres. Luckily that one is in a more remote area with less WUI.

  2. Gigafires, of course. And 1,000,000,000 acre fires would be terafires.

    Says the computer science guy :).

  3. Sorry, the Hanceville-Riske Creek Fire has only burned somewhere over 333,000 acres. My conversion factor was wrong. Just don’t use acres much……………….

  4. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center (CIFFC) has a daily situation report of the national fire situation. In the report there is a nice breakdown on the priority fires in British Columbia.


    BC has been at level 5 since July 17 and likely to remain that way until September. Wildfires in BC have burned 460,000 ha (1,136,000 ac) which is already ten times the 25 year average. This is about halfway through the fire season with a record temperature heat wave just starting.

  5. So sorry to hear of all the fires you are having in B. C. We used to live in Clinton in the mid ’70’s just outside of town on the Bonepart River on what was called the Mound Ranch. Its a beautiful area and we did our range riding out the back gate. And swam in the Bonepart! Hoping your fire fighters can make progress on all the fires. We just had a big one here in Mariposa, Calif and our son is a Captain for Cal Fire. Good Luck there.

  6. Joan – we now have a ranch at the end of the Mound Rd – probably owned by the Glenn’s when you had the Mound Ranch. Only pioneers still on the Mound are the Janzens (Jamie) who is our immediate neighbor. The fire has advanced to the river but not destroyed any buildings yet. Under evacuation order and roads closed. Jamie has stayed to look after the cows.

  7. Jim

    Isnt it a small world, yes we were friends with Al and Ginger Glenn and also the Janzen’s. We love the Mound Ranch and the range but it sold and we had to move. Only there from ’75 – ’79. Hopefully the fire will stop at the river and not destroy any buildings. Is your range still up the Chasm? We have lots of good memories of riding with the Glenn’s and Corky Janzen. Good luck in saving your ranch. Joan and Bill Gladwin

  8. Joan:

    Got power and tel restored last night – now have big irrigation guns pouring water over buildings. As long as electricity stays on we should be able to fight the flames which are now at the Chasm.
    I shared your message with Jamie last night and he sends his regards. His father, Corky,
    passed about 5 years ago. The Glenn’s live along the Kelly Lake road (west of Clinton) and they were ordered to evacuate yesterday as the fire heads west.


  9. Jim,

    We are hoping that today fines you all ok, yourself and family and buildings and animals. What a terrible thing for you to go thru and the hills must look awful .

    Yes we know where Al and Ginger Glenn live, please say hello for us if you see them and we hope they are safe also. And hello to Jamie Janzen too, we remember him as a kid.

    How did the Mound Ranch fare? Let us know when you have time. Joan


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