Elephant Hill fire 85 per cent contained

By Greg Fry
September 19, 2017 - 11:13am

KAMLOOPS — Fire crews continue to make progress on the massive Elephant Hill wildfire.

Erin Catherall, fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, says while the fire remains approximately 192,000 hectares in size, it's now 85 per cent contained, up from 70 per cent over the weekend.

"Crews continue to make really good progress. That coupled with the cooler and wetter conditions we've received in the area has definitely aided with suppression efforts and the increase in containment size."

Despite the progress she says 437 firefighters remain on site along with an incident management team, 30 pieces of additional equipment, and three helicopters.

So, what's the outlook?

"Crews are continuing to work on patrol and mop up. We've got numerous crews on the ground working to action those hot spots identified by infrared scans," says Catherall. " There's also been signficant damage to trees in the area. The concern is with the weakened root system and strong gusts of wind it could cause trees to topple over. So, we do have danger tree assessors on scene."

She adds substantial rain is still needed.

"So, we have crews working hard to establish further containment around the fire perimter. However, this is a really large fire and we are going to continue to see smoke within the fire perimeter likely into the winter months."

As such, Catherall says the BC Wildfire Service still has two fully operational camps in two locations and a large number of firefighters engaged in suppression efforts in the area.


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