Elephant Hill fire explodes to 110-thousand hectares

By Vanessa Ybarra
August 5, 2017 - 2:05pm Updated: August 5, 2017 - 3:04pm

CLINTON, B.C. — The Elephant Hill fire grew to 110-thousand hectares Saturday.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, 441 firefighters, 102 structural-protection staff, 21 helicopters, and more than 100 pieces of heavy equipment are being used to battle the enormous blaze near Clinton.

"This is our highest priority in the province," said Skrepnek, Chief Fire Information Officer. "We are throwing everything we have at it."

Calling it an 'absolute monster' Skrepnek says the region's terrain has made it hard for crews to access the fire.

Then there's the wind.

"The area is right at the mouth of the Thompson River Canyon so it's almost a nature-made wind tunnel," said Skrepnek. "Those winds flow up and blow generally south to north and now the fire is covering such a wide area that a shift in winds reflect an immediate change in the fires and the way it's growing."

Skrepnek says the Elephant Hill fire currently has three active sides including the western flank towards Clinton and Highway 99, the south-west flank towards the Skeetchestn Reseve and a north-east and north-west flank, making it extremely difficult to fight.

"The core of the fire hasn't been active in quite some time," added Skrepnek. "It's those three flanks that are finding more trees to burn and where the wind is whipping it up."

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