May 17, 2013 - 1:27 PM
UPDATE: 10:40 a.m. May 17, 2013
The Spatsum Creek wildfire is now considered 75 per contained and all evacuation alerts have been rescinded by the Thompson Nicola Regional District.
The fire remains at 1,400 HA and 124 fire fighters are on site along with four helicopters helping with bucketing support and actioning hot spots. Mop up is taking place within areas already burned.
11:25 a.m. May 16, 2013
The Thompson Nicola Regional District has lifted the state of emergency placed on the area south of Ashcroft this past weekend but evacuation alerts affecting about 125 people are still in place as the 1,400 Ha fire continues to keep firefighters busy.
Currently 115 fire fighters and 21 command staff are on the scene of the fire and are being assisted by five helicopters. Cooler weather and calmer winds the past couple of days have aided crews with keeping the fire at 1,400 Ha.
Information officer Erin Catherall says, “the wind has definitely been favourable. It is definitely helping crews with suppression efforts. The steep terrain is still a challenge though.”
Smoke from the fire is still visible, Catherall notes, but not to the degree seen over the weekend.
The fire began April 27 about 20-kilometres south of Ashcroft and winds that weekend fueled the fire as it grew to more than 100 Ha by the end of the weekend. They had the fire mostly contained by Monday morning but a breach of fire guards on May 6 allowed the fire to spread to 240 Ha and move closer to Ashcroft.
By the weekend the human-caused fire had grown to 1,100 Ha and within 10-kilometres of Ashcroft. A state of emergency was declared south of Ashcroft and evacuation alerts and orders were put in place as Hwy 97C was closed to all traffic between the village and the Highland Valley Mine overpass.
The fire grew to 1,400 Ha by Monday afternoon. The orders were rescinded and the highway reopened by the end of the day Monday but the state of emergency was not lifted until earlier today. Those within the evacuation alert area need to be ready to leave with short notice.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013