July 28, 2014 - 11:20 AM
KAMLOOPS - The fire camp for B.C. Wildfire workers is downsizing day-by-day as the Botanie Creek fire comes closer to extinction.
Colette Fauchon, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests says the fire is now 65 per cent contained, and is currently mapped at 1,240 hectares. She says the fire will be turned over to the local fire zone.
The fire camp which held 120 members is now down to 67. Pieces of equipment have been removed from the site, while two water tenders (trucks carrying water) and a helicopter remain.
Firefighters remaining on site are continuing patrols for hotspots and setting up fireguards. Others are pulling equipment off of the site, including 18 kilometres of hose.
Fauchon adds the morale of the team remains high.
“It’s hard to watch them come in at the end of their shift and they’re just black with soot. But some of them have a smile on their face,” she says.
Members who have left the site will be dispersed to larger fires throughout the province.
While Fauchon says everything is pretty much back to normal she advises the deactivated Botanie forest service road remain closed off to the public. It’s the only road crews can use to get to specific areas and is currently under construction. Fauchon says the road conditions are so poor some vehicles were damaged.
She understands the public would like to see progress being made on the fire, but asks people to respect the area is closed.
“The access is extremely poor,” Fauchon says. The helicopter will bucket areas inaccessible for firefighters.
Once the fire is better contained, foresters will prescribe tactics to replenish the area with vegetation to return it to a forest state.
On Sunday evening, the evacuation alert for residents was rescinded.
It's still unknown what started the fire. It is suspected to be human-caused.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014