A smoky sunrise at Canim Lake on Aug. 11. Martina Dopf photo.

Aug. 11: Flare ups behind perimeter of Elephant Hill fire common

“So far so good”

“So far so good,” says Noelle Kekula, fire information officer for the Elephant Hill Line.

“We’re working really hard and the crews are starting to meet our objectives and we’re going to keep trying to achieve our objectives,” she says.

Overnight, night crews worked on the south western flank of the fire, Division Bravo, north of Highway 99, says Kekula.

“Our priorities still continue to be in that area, in and around the Loon Lake area, that area along the corridors and then that north flank,” she says.

“The control line building on that east flank is doing really well and we’re just waiting on some weather to do some burning operations to tighten that control line.”

Crews will continue to use machines to build control lines and Kekula says crews do some burning operations at a smaller scale daily, but they wait for the conditions to be right to initiate the larger planned ignitions.

A change in weather and wind directions is expected for Saturday.

“We’re hoping with this change in weather that the smoke will clear so that we can start using air support a bit more and just really work on those control lines and burn wherever we can to strengthen and fortify it a bit better.”

Within the fire perimeter, Kekula says people can expect to continue to see fire burning.

“When we have these large scale fires and the fire goes through really quickly, often there will be spots that the fire doesn’t burn so there’s a lot of unburnt fuel within the fire itself. So, if people are driving along Highway 97 or Highway 1 or they are in the area and they see open flame or if they see burning, often it will be the fire itself reigniting itself because of the wind and its just burning — what we say — burning within the black.”

Yesterday, Aug. 10, she says this happened in the Loon Lake area.

“The wind picked up, it reignited the embers and it started burning the unburnt fuels within the black. This is something we are going to see a lot and just don’t panic when you see that.”

Related: Aug. 10: Elephant Hill fire remains largely within perimeter