The Big Stick Lake Area fire crossed Highway 20 Tuesday, July 13. (Photo submitted)

Cariboo Fire Centre gives latest details on wildfire situation

There are nine wildfires of note within the region

  • Jul. 20, 2021 12:00 a.m.

There are currently 47 active wildfires within the Cariboo Fire Centre Tuesday, July 20.

The Cariboo Fire Centre responded to G32069 in the area of Jacobie Lake early Tuesday morning. The fire is 0.2 hectares and there are currently ten BCWS personnel suppressing this fire. The fire is now classified as being held.

Wildfires of Note

There are nine Wildfires of Note within the Cariboo Fire Centre. Three fires are being managed by an Incident Management Team (Succour Lake, Flat Lake, and South of Canim Lake).

Purdy Lake

The wildfire is estimated to be 7,900 hectares in size. No significant growth occurred Monday, July 19 or over the past several days. BC Wildfire Service notes crews have worked hard over the past several days, taking advantage of favorable conditions and have made notable progress with fire suppression. Helicopters were on site bucketing Monday to support structure protection. BC Parks have been engaged regarding suppression in the Kluskoil park.

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by the Cariboo Regional District. This Evacuation Alert area now borders the Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako for the Grizzly Lake wildfire in the Prince George Fire Centre.

McKinley Lake

The McKinley Lake wildfire is 1,834 hectares in size. No significant growth occurred yesterday despite increased fire activity. Personnel and equipment have established guard around the entire fire. Personnel are now patrolling the edges of the fire and actioning hot spots. Personnel will be working to remove unburnt fuel between the main fire and established guards with small scale ignitions when conditions allow.

An Evacuation Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District for Crooked Lake remains in effect.


The Chasm wildfire is 400 hectares. There was no significant growth on the fire Monday. Personnel and equipment have made notable progress on the south and east flanks.

An Evacuation Alert has been issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

Young Lake

The Young Lake wildfire is estimated at 1,400 hectares. BCWS has been monitoring this fire, which exhibited low fire behaviour and limited growth over the past several days. On July 19, six BCWS personnel were on site setting up structure protection units and constructing hang guard around properties.

Late Monday afternoon, fire behaviour increased, and the fire pushed towards the northeast. An officer assessed the situation Tuesday morning and six BCWS personnel will be on site July 20 to establish structure protection. Air tankers will also be on site Tuesday to support structure protection in the area. The Cariboo Fire Centre is in the process of taking this fire over from the Sparks Lake Incident Management Team.

Big Stick Lake

The wildfire north of Big Stick Lake is estimated to be 6,580 hectares in size. The fire did see some growth Monday, July 20 but due to smoke in the area, a new map has not been produced. Winds picked up in the late yesterday afternoon which coupled with warm temperatures, led to fire growth on the northeast part of the fire around Long Lake along the Smoky FRS and within the existing perimeter.

Bucketing helicopters and water skimming aircraft worked the active parts of the fire head on the north side and cooled hotspots to reinforce the fire guards. Firefighters are running night operations in conjunction with heavy equipment to take advantage of cooler temperatures and higher minimum relative humidity to continue making good progress in key areas on the southeast flank (east of Highway 20). Firefighters and heavy equipment are working to reinforce the fire guards in critical areas around the fire, supported by structural protection specialists.

An Evacuation Order is in effect for the Big Stick wildfire area. This order replaces the Evacuation Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District on July 10.

An Evacuation Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District has been expanded and remains in effect for the Big Stick wildfire area.

Hotnarko Creek

The Hotnarko Creek wildfire is estimated at 1,500 hectares.

BCWS said there was a five-hectares excursion due to increased activity on the north flank adjacent to Highway 20. This resulted in a temporary road closure to allow for wildfire operations, including airtankers and water skimming aircraft, to operate while maintaining public safety Monday evening, July 19. The highway reopened as of 10 p.m. Monday night, though drivers are urged to exercise caution due to smoke and equipment working. Road closures may occur to continue ongoing operations and to maintain public safety.

Summary of other wildfires

Below is a summary of some of the active fires, by zone, as of Tuesday, July 20.

Quesnel Fire Zone

There are seven active wildfires burning in this zone.

Three fires are now classified as under control and four are out of control.

Central Cariboo Zone

There are eight active wildfires burning in this zone.

Two fires are now classified as under control and six are out of control.

100 Mile Fire Zone

The Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing wildfires to the north of Highway 24 and east of Highway 97 within this zone. The is managing 18 of the 27 active wildfires in the zone, with the Cariboo Fire Centre managing the remainder. Twelve of the fires in the 100 Mile zone are now under control, four are being held, and 11 are out of control.

100 Mile Incident Management Team Managed Wildfires of Note:

South of Canim Lake

This wildfire is estimated at 2,487 hectares. Over the next few days, crews will work to establish guards in the south. This includes working the southwest corner establishing established a wet line (hosed area). They will also be working on a wet line from the northeast down the north guard. Crews will be monitoring the east flank.

The Cariboo Regional District has upgraded the existing Evacuation Alert to an Evacuation Order on the south side of Canim Lake. The north side remains on an Evacuation Alert.

Succour Lake

The Succour Lake wildfire is estimated at 529 hectares. There has been minimal growth of this wildfire over the last 10 days. It is not immediately threatening any communities or access roads at this time. However, due to the potential for warm and dry conditions combined with the proximity to values, evacuation alerts remain in effect.

The Cariboo Regional District has expanded the existing evacuation alerts on both the north and south sides of Canim Lake (See above).

Flat Lake

The Flat Lake wildfire is 19,247 hectares. Planned ignitions conducted yesterday successfully created an anchor point from which crews are now working. There will be ongoing planning to determine where additional ignitions opportunities are needed.

On July 17, 2021, the Thompson Nicola Regional District upgraded an Evacuation Alert to an Order for the Flat Lake Wildfire Electoral E (Bonaparte Plateau) in the vicinity of Gustafsen and Neilson Lakes. The additional Evacuation Alert issued by the Thompson Nicola Regional District remains in place. The Evacuation Order and Alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District remain in place.

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