Elephant Hill fire grows past 180,000 hectares

By James Peters
August 31, 2017 - 3:43pm

KAMLOOPS — The Elephant Hill wildfire has grown again.

BC Wildfire Service estimates recorded Thursday had the fire at 181,273 hectares.

Fire Information Officer Claire Allen says the majority of growth came on the north flank, spurred by gusty winds from the southwest.

"That caused a finger of the fire to cross the containment line to the north and make its way approximately nine kilometres up toward the south end of Jack Frost Lake," said Allen. "It's approximately two-and-a-half kilometres from Jack Frost Lake, which is approximately five kilometres to the south of Highway 24."

"Last night again, challenging overnight conditions. Until about 1:00 p.m., we did have hot and dry conditions and winds coming from the west which pushed that finger of fire in an easterly direction growing toward Sheridan Lake," said Allen.

"At about 1:00 p.m., the relative humidities did increase to about 70 per cent and temperatures did decrease, so that put a lid on the fire behaviour. But unfortunately, we did have growth."

Much of the activity on the north flank flared up from Tuesday to Wednesday, and it has quieted down Thursday.

"Still some gusty winds today coming from variable directions. Generally the northwest this morning is where the winds were coming from," said Allen. "We do expect that to switch to the northeast this evening, which definitely pushes the fire a bit around."

"Now at this time, we are monitoring fire behaviour. It hasn't been as active as in preceding days today. That's due primarily to the fact that it is slightly cooler and there is smoke shrouding the fire. However, it does have a lot of potential still, so we're monitoring it constantly."

Allen says the forecast doesn't appear to be presenting much relief.

"It's really been a dynamic situation the last few days here and, looking ahead to the weather forecast, not a lot of rain on the horizon which is certainly unfortunate. But it does look like winds should slacken a bit in the coming days, which is good news, but not as good news as rain would be," said Allen.

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