Over 100 active wildfires in British Columbia

Above: Satellite photo taken August 2, 2017 showing smoke from some of the wildfires in British Columbia. The red dots represent heat detected by a sensor on the satellite

(Originally published at 9:50 p.m. MDT August 2, 2017)

Firefighters in British Columbia are dealing with over 100 wildfires that are larger than 0.01 hectare. The location for four of the largest can be seen on the map below which shows heat detected by a satellite on Wednesday.

map fires in British Columbia
Map showing heat from fires in British Columbia detected by a satellite at 3:12 p.m. MDT August 2, 2017. Click to enlarge.

Here are very brief of summaries of four of the largest fires:

  • Hanceville-Riske Creek, 60 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake. The Hanceville and the Riske Creek Fires are being managed as one. Together they have burned 134,000 hectares (331,000 acres).
  • Quesnel West, 4 km north of the Baezaeko River. 36,000 HA (88,000 acres).
  • Tautri Complex, 85 km northwest of Williams Lake. 64,000 HA (84,000 acres).
  • Elephant Hill, near Ashcroft. 84,000 HA. (207,000 acres).

The weather forecast for Ashcroft near the Elephant Hill fire looks grim for firefighters —  over 100F every day for the next week with the relative humidity around 20 percent or below. It looks better for Williams Lake with highs in the high 80’s and low 90’s with the relative humidity in the mid-20’s.

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

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

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