fire

Update on wildfires near Burns Lake

Crews continue to fight Chief Louie Lake fire, Poplar Mountain and Bulkley Lake fires under control

It’s been over a month since the fire near Chief Louie Lake was discovered, and crews are still working to fight it.

According to the most recent update from the Northwest Fire Centre (NWFC) on Aug. 9, the size of the fire is an estimated 20,122 hectares, growing from the previously reported size of 19,000 which was posted on the B.C Wildfire Services dashboard on Aug.6 .

It is currently classified as out of control.

The situation has been made worse by high winds from early last week. NWFC says crews prepared for a wind event in the Cassiar and Nadina Fire Zones, specifically where the Chief Louie Lake wildfire is located. West-Southwest winds hit 45 Kilometres an hour on Monday, and 35 Kilometres an hour on Tuesday, resulting in increased fire behavior.

NWFC stated that firefighters and contractors working heavy machinery continue to build guard lines on the northeast flank, and are working to reinforce the guard line with a wet-line. They are also burning areas of unburned fuel.

The fire is located 20 kilometres south of Ootsa Lake, and smoke is highly visible in the surrounding areas.

Elsewhere, NWFC confirmed that the Poplar Mountain wildfire, originated 40 kilometres southwest of Houston, remains under control with a size of 200 hectares. The cause of the fire, like the one in Chief Louie Lake, was lightning.

Also under control is the Bulkley Lake wildfire, which is now measuring at just 182 hectares. The origin of that fire located two kilometres northwest of Bulkley Lake and 18 kilometres southeast of Topley. The cause of the Bulkley Lake fire is currently unknown. It was originally believed to be caused by lightning, but then later was said to be under investigation. NWFC Communications Specialist Carolyn Bartos told Lakes District News that the reason why the cause has yet to be determined is because they haven’t had the resources available. NWFC still recommends monitoring for hotspots in both areas.

There are currently six active wildfires in the NWFC, upping the total to 55 since April 1, 2021. There has been 1,268 fires in B.C. this year, with 277 currently burning.