Burgess Creek wildfire sees little growth after ballooning to 1,600 hectares

Little growth on wildfire

The BC Wildfire Service says no substantial growth has been seen on the Burgess Creek wildfire after it ballooned to 1,600 hectares after being discovered on Saturday.

The wildfire is located about 40 kilometres south of Quesnel and five kilometres northwest of Ben Lake.

Madison Dahl, fire information officer at the Cariboo Fire Centre, said crews first responded to the out-of-control fire when it was already 40 hectares in size.

After dry conditions and strong winds spurred growth on the fire, causing it to grow to 1,600 hectares, Dahl said little has changed since.

“The fire’s still being measured at 1600 hectares — we did not see substantial growth yesterday or on Sunday,” she said.

“There may be a little bit of an increase due to wind conditions today.”

Dahl said 60 personnel are on site Tuesday alongside 16 pieces of heavy equipment. She said several helicopters have been assigned to the fire and additional air support is available if needed.

“There are both personnel on the ground on there's heavy equipment establishing access routes to areas of the fire, building guard — especially along the south end of the fire — and then utilizing indirect and direct attack methods to tie natural and manmade features to establish line,” Dahl said.

When first discovered, the wildfire was displaying rank three fire behaviour — describing a “moderately vigorous surface fire,” according to BCWS.

Dahl said it was difficult to determine what rank the fire is currently burning at. She said it would depend on which are of the fire you looked at.

“It depends on what flank of the fire you're going to be on, and then also the wind and temperature on the ground,” she said.

The Cariboo Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for the Burgess Creek area due to the wildfire. The CRD said anyone in the affected area should be ready to leave on short notice.

Category two and three fires — which include burn piles of various sizes — are prohibited in the Cariboo Fire Centre at this time.

The Burgess Creek wildfire is believed to have been human caused.

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