A locally owned skidder with water tank gets loaded onto a locally owned lowbed for hauling out of the Thuya Lake fire on Saturday. With cooler and wetter weather, much of the heavy equipment on the fire is being sent home or to 100 Mile House.

Firefighters cold-trail Thuya Road fire

Cool damp weather helps battle against Little Fort fires

With cooler and wetter weather last week, fire crews were able to get a hand on the Thuya Road fire and the Dunn Lake fire, although both were listed as out of control as of Sunday.

Crews had the Thuya Road fire 90 per cent contained and were working their way in from the perimeter, cold-trailing to find and extinguish any hot spots.

Although not so spectacular as firefighting in the movies, cold-trailing is important work and needs to be done carefully and aggressively to be effective.

The Thuya Road fire was estimated at 556 hectares.

Total resources on the two fires in the Little Fort fire complex were listed as 268 firefighting personnel and 14 pieces of heavy equipment, plus structural protection units (regular fire departments) and air tankers, as needed.

The Dunn Lake fire was estimated at 3,035 hectares and 50 per cent contained. Crews continued to wet down hot spots on the perimeter, with a focus on the northern and eastern flanks, while supporting CN crews working on flare-ups along the rail corridor as needed.

The Thuya Road fire is located southwest of Little Fort while the Dunn Lake fire is northeast of that community.


Division superintendent Chris Werrell talks on his handheld radio while being recorded by CBC TV cameraman Pete Scobie.

Firefigter Casey Hawkay comes from Australia. The big difference between firefighting there and in B.C. is the steep terrain locally, he has found.

Steffan Brown explains the tactic of cold-trailing.

Casey Hawkay carries a shovel while Steffan Brown wields a gorgi - a type of pulaski adopted for clearing duff.

Colby Olsen has been firefighting for 10 years.

Colby Olsen checks for hot spots under a rock as he cold-trails the perimeter of the Thuya Lake fire.

Three firefighters dig up the remains of what once was a dead stump after finding a hot spot.

Gracie Wilson reaches underground up to her armpit as she carefully checks the tube left by a burned out root to see if there are any hot spots left.

Casey Hawkay (l) and Steffan Brown check blackened moss for heat as they cold-trail along the perimeter of the Thuya Lake fire on Saturday.

Four of the over 160 firefighters involved in combating the Little Fort fire complex take a break while cold-trailing near the southeast corner of the Thuya Lake fire. From left to right are Colby Olsen, Steffan Brown, Casey Hawkay and Gracie Wilson.

Four firefighters walk in a line through a fire-damage landscape as they cold-trail - look for remaining hot spots to put out.

Firefighter Gracie Wilson looks carries her pulaski on her shoulders.