Smoke seen from 100 Mile House on Aug. 8. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

Aug. 9: No movement on northern flank of Elephant Hill fire

“It was far too smokey to do any burning”

9 p.m. update: No controlled burns took place on the Elephant Hill fire today, says Fire Information Officer Heather Rice.

“It went well today, but they did not do any burning at all. Today it was far too smokey to do any burning,” she says.

“[They are] still working hard on those southern flanks. The northern flank continues to hold quite strongly, we haven’t seen any movement there,” says Rice.

Earlier in the day, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District lifted an evacuation order on the Highway 97 corridor between Chasm and 70 Mile. The area remains on alert.

“We’ve had a lot of success all around that north flank, so I think they felt that — of course, they’ll stay on alert — but I think they just felt that it would be safe to open that corridor and make it a little easier for people to get in and around and that includes the West Fraser Mill,” she says.

Related: Evacuation order rescinded along Highway 97 between Chasm and 70 Mile

“We are seeing some movement to the east but I don’t know for sure how far it is from Young Lake, but we do have guards in place for that area as well as structural protection,” says Rice.

The fire has not moved in the Green Lake direction.

“They’re not in any imminent threat currently.”

The south east and south west flanks continue to be a challenge for crews, says Rice.

“A little bit of movement there with the winds that they had this afternoon. They both, I think, may have moved somewhat westerly this afternoon.”

The two southern flanks remain to the north of Highway 99 and Highway 1.

A small flare up that yesterday on the Ashcroft portion of the fire is controlled, says Rice.

“That was actioned immediately. It’s controlled and I think they estimated it to be about five hectares.”

The incident management team that has been working on the Elephant Hill fire for the past two weeks is transitioning out. On Aug. 10, a new team will take their place. Today, the teams have been shadowing the current team.

“Each counterpart transitions and shadows,” says Rice. “The plan person shadows the plan person, the info shadows info and we share all that we know about the fire and what the priorities are for the incoming team.”

Original story: It’s been pretty much “status quo” on the north end of the fire, says Assistant Fire Information Officer Terry Murphy.

“It really hasn’t moved in a northerly direction because the winds have been coming from the north,” says Murphy.

While the fire has advanced towards Young Lake, the advance is very slight, says Murphy.

The fire is approximately 6.8 km from the lake, while two days ago it was 7 km, he says.

Yesterday’s flare up in the Ashcroft section of the fire was actioned right away, he says.

“I don’t think it’s of big concern.”

Overnight, the fire remained relatively calm, he says.

“It was a fairly calm evening. Of course, we had the night shift crews on and making some progress.”

Today, weather permitting, the backburn that was initially planned for the Young Lake area is planned.

“Yesterday the weather conditions weren’t just right for it and if weather conditions are good, they’ll be doing it again this afternoon,” says Murphy.

“They are expecting a change in the weather, I believe it’s Friday and the winds will be southerly instead of coming from the north as they have been the past couple days,” he says.