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Sept. 10: Hunters in east flank of Elephant Hill fire concerning

Cold temperatures, no night crews
While the smell of smoke persists, skies look relatively clear today (Sept. 10). Max Winkelman photo.

7:05 p.m. update: “Things went well. With the rain and the weather, crews were able to fly, get a better idea of where the hotspots were, an idea of where to put the priorities. There are still quite a few hot spots in that north flank and that northwest flank around Green Lake, the south Green Lake area,” says Fire Information Officer for the Elephant Hill fire, Noelle Kekula.

“Cooler temperatures, moderate [humidity rates] but wind and wind changing in various directions in the forecast. Yes, I’m saying that it’s good and all of that but we’re still taking it incredibly seriously and still really really focussed on getting people back home and getting those flanks tightened up.”

There are no night crews on, according to Kekula.

“I think we would freeze them out if we had them out overnight. So no night crews tonight. One division said this morning when they got to the fire there was ice. They had to break up some ice. So that’s a reflection of how cold it got.”

Tomorrow there may be some precipitation but nothing major, says Kekula.

“Hunters were seen and hunters were heard in the east flank. It is a very serious thing and so RCMP are out and there are many members out. If you’ve driven through 100 Mile, you’ll see all the RCMP vehicles but yes this is a very serious thing,” says Kekula.

“They were seen and heard and riding their quads and [off road vehicles] and everything. The ORV closure is still in effect, the area restriction. We have 397 firefighters out there and a bunch of them from Mexico and from other parts of the country. We want them to go home and our own people. This is incredibly serious … Enforcement will be out there monitoring.”

Original story: “The crews are seeing some sun and it’s not going to be a rainy day today, well it might be a little bit of rain, but they’re going to march on and keep increasing that blackline and hopefully we can start seeing more gains by the end of the day when they come in” says Fire Information Officer for the Elephant Hill fire Noelle Kekula. They’re hoping to raise the containment percentage, she says.

Some crews have been switching over, says Kekula. There are now 397 firefighters, 14 helicopters and 82 pieces of equipment on the fire today, she says.

“I think we’ve got New Brunswick and Newfoundland that have arrived and some Ontario folk. So just some new faces showing up to come help us out.”

There are around 80 firefighters in the West Sheridan Lake area today, says Kekula.

“They are using direct attack right along the perimeter there, along the control line and they’re extinguishing hot spots. They’re still, surprisingly, they said on that north flank … seeing an incredible amount of hot spots.”

There are around 80 firefighters around the Jack Frost and Watch Lake area as well, she says, where they’re still seeing a lot of hot spots as well.

While the Hihium Lake area is quiet there is still activity on that flank of the fire, she says.

“Everyone’s thinking it rained and therefore the fire is out but they still were able to do some ignitions in that section as well,” she says. “Where the canopy is thick and the rain isn’t really getting through it, so we’ve got enough dry fuel underneath that they’re able to remove that fuel on the ground.”

Crews are extinguishing a lot of hot spots in the Pressy Lake area but doesn’t know exactly what the crew numbers in that area are.

For people looking to find out more about their property, there is a structural protection liaison in place, says Kekula. For those looking to contact the liaison, they can contact Kekula or the district, she says.

With hunting season having started, Kekula would once again like to remind people to respect area and other restrictions, including for the Elephant Hill fire, with opening day for a lot of hunting categories tomorrow.

Restrictions for the Elephant Hill wildfire can be found here all other restrictions for the Cariboo Fire Centre can be found here.