(UPDATE: Aug. 29 @ 4:15 p.m.) - The Alkali Lake fire is no longer being considered a wildfire of note.
“Several millimetres of rain have fallen on the fire over the last 24 hours and, as a result, decreased fire behaviour has been observed. There has been no significant growth on the fire,” says the BC Wildfire Service.
They add that crews continue to work in an area where the fire crossed the Dodjatin Creek. They are mopping up, patrolling and demobilizing equipment from several areas of the fire.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is repairing damaged road surfaces on Highway 51.
Today there are 96 firefighters, five helicopters, and 10 pieces of heavy equipment allocated to the fire.
(UPDATE: Aug. 26 @ 7:50 p.m.) - According to BC Wildfire Service, fire behaviour on the north end has lessened in recent days. Crews have begun to demobilize equipment in this area.
The south end of the fire continues to show active fire behaviour and has become a priority for personnel.
In an attempt to slow fire progression toward Glenora, crews are preparing for a burn operation to remove forest fuels to draw it away from the community. This operation will continue should conditions allow it. Fire retardant and helicopter bucketing will be used to help manage the burn.
BC Wildfire Service is reporting that less than one millimetre of rain has fallen on some parts of the fire over the last 48 hours.
Today, there are 172 firefighters, eight helicopters and 16 pieces of heavy equipment on scene.
(UPDATE: Aug. 25 @ 11:35 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire is now estimated at 118,318.0 hectares.
The BC Wildfire Service says that is continues to be driven by driven by fuel, wind and steep slopes but areas of the fire did receive some precipitation overnight.
Today there are 165 personnel on site, assisted by eight helicopters and 18 pieces of heavy equipment.
The Tahltan First Nation and several community members are engaged in fire suppression activities.
(UPDATE: Aug. 24 @ 7:25 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire was measured at a "rough" 100,000 hectares after it merged with three other fires in the area.
A day later, it's now estimated at 118,000 hectares, although the BC Wildfire Service is still calling that a "rough" number.
The blaze continues to be driven by fuel, wind and steep slopes.
There are 147 firefighters, 18 pieces of heavy equipment and nine helicopters are on scene, with a devoted incident management team stationed at Dease Lake.
"Helicopters are bucketing in the area and crews are using direct suppression tactics to reduce fire activity and to slow the spread of the fire," reads the latest update from BC Wildfire. "Minimizing growth and structural impacts in this area continues to be a priority."
Crews have also been able to re-establish the breached guard on the north end of the fire, near 70 km on Hwy 51.
(UPDATE: Aug. 23 @ 6:35 a.m.) - How does a fire grow 60,000 hectares in a matter of hours?
It merges with three other fires, of course.
That's exactly what the previously 40,000 hectare Alkali Lake wildfire did on Wednesday night, merging with the Muddy Lake, Lovell Creek South and Tahltan River wildfires.
The Muddy Lake, Lovell Creek South, and Tahltan River fires have now merged with the Alkali Lake #BCwildfire in the Stikine Complex in the Northwest Fire Centre. Heavy smoke is making this fire difficult to map, but it is approximately 100,000 ha. Full update below. pic.twitter.com/a4NRk5IeGO— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 23, 2018
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the Alkali Lake wildfire is measured at a "very rough" 100,000 hectares, as smoke in the area is making it difficult to map.
"This fire continues to be driven by fuel, wind and steep slopes," says the latest update from BC Wildfire. "Crews continue to focus their efforts on protecting life and property."
"They are reinforcing and building fireguards, cooling hotspots in some areas and clear danger trees to improve access to areas that have burned."
Plenty of resources are dedicated to this fire, with 149 firefighters, 18 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters working tirelessly to get it under control.
One of B.C.'s six incident management teams has transitioned to the fire, taking over a team from Australia and New Zealand, and they're now stationed at Dease Lake.
(UPDATE: Aug. 22 @ 1:55 p.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire is estimated at 39, 327 hectares today.
The BC Wildfire Service says the fire continues to be driven by fuel, wind and steep slopes. The Muddy Lake and Tahltan River fires have merged with the Alkali Lake fire.
Strong winds yesterday challenged firefighting efforts and resulted in aggressive fire behaviour on several areas on the fire.
Smokey conditions are also continuous and are impacting visibility.
One of B.C.'s six incident management teams has transitioned onto the fire and is stationed in Dease Lake.
Today there are 149 firefighters, 10 helicopters, and 19 pieces of heavy equipment on the scene.
(UPDATE: Aug. 21 @ 5:20 p.m.) - Southwesterly winds have once again caused smoke to gather in the Telegraph Creek and Glenora areas.
No new information is available regarding the Alkali Lake wildfire with weather patterns remaining the same and the number of personnel and equipment on site maintained at 92 firefighters, 19 units of heavy equipment and 11 helicopters.
Evacuation Orders in the area remain in effect.
(UPDATE: Aug. 20 @ 11:25 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire is estimated at 39,000 hectares, but there is some positive news.
For the first time, BC Wildfire Service has listed a containment number for the first, which is 11%.
Winds will be light today, but fire behaviour is still expected to increase in the afternoon, particularly where there's less smoke and the sun's heat can particulate.
There are 92 firefighters, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 11 helicopters are battling the blaze, with the priority being checking structure protection, reinforcing guards and clearing danger trees.
"Crews and air support will continue work to minimize further impact to the communities of Telegraph Creek and Glenora," reads the latest update from BC Wildfire. "Tahltan First Nation staff and a number of contractors are working hard with heavy equipment to build and maintain guard."
"Structure protection specialists continue to install equipment on properties in the area and are relocating equipment from some areas where it is no longer required to new locations."
An evacuation alert and order remains in effect, which you can learn more about by clicking this link.
(UPDATE: Aug. 19 @ 9:40 p.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire has seen some growth since the previous update Saturday morning and is now measured at approximately 38,892 hectares.
General work is being done around the clock to keep the fires at bay with crews checking structure protection, reinforcing guards, clearing danger trees and relocating equipment from areas where it is no longer required to new positions.
There are 109 firefighters, 11 helicopters and 19 units of heavy equipment on site. A total of 143 personnel, including a night shift, are working to subdue the fire.
An Evacuation Order for the area of Telegraph Creek, Glenora and the area along the Highwya 51 corridor remains in effect as shown below.
(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 10:50 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire remains at 38,515 hectares.
According to BC Wildfire Service, winds are expected to be light this morning and into the afternoon which will allow crews to check structure protection, reinforce guards and clear dangerous trees.
Today, crews will continue working to minimize further impact to the communities of Telegraph Creek and Glenora.
Personnel are working closely with the Tahltan First Nation and a number of contractors to build and maintain guard. If favourable conditions continue, burn operations will be used to increase containment and remove pockets of fuel to create more guard.
BC Hydro crews are also on scene working to clear and replace damaged lines and poles.
There will be 110 firefighters, 11 helicopters, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and four water tenders on scene today.
(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 9:15 p.m.) - Suppression efforts and favourable weather conditions near the Alkali Lake wildfire and Telegraph Creek has reopened the main road into the community, Highway 51.
The highway was reopened Friday morning to fire crews and essential personnel with permission. BCWS reports that calm and cool conditions allowed crews access to the road for repairs and safety concerns.
The fire remains at 38,515 with a Local State of Emergency, Evacuation Order and Evacuation Alert in effect in the area as shown below.
Some resources have also been pulled from the area, with only 105 firefighters, 11 helicopters and 21 units of heavy equipment fighting the fire over Friday, with the total (including the night shift) being 153 firefighters.
Of the resources on site, Australian and New Zealand Incident Management and firefighting personnel are assisting the Canadian crews in the management of the fire.
(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 9:50 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire continues to grow.
BC Wildfire estimates the fire is now sitting at 38,515 hectares as it burns near Telegraph Creek.
The last few days have seen increased fire activity on the Alkali Lake #BCwildfire due to increasing and gusty winds. The fire size has not significantly grown (36,380 ha) but there is activity on some flanks and in pockets of unburnt vegetation within the fireground. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/Qa0i6gqQ9v— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 17, 2018
As the fire grows, so does the number of firefighters and other resources that are allocated to the massive blaze.
Currently, 167 firefighters, 21 pieces of heavy equipment and 11 helicopters are working on fire suppression, with the help of a night shift as well.
The main road into Telegraph Creek, which is Hwy 51, remains closed to all traffic, but calmer and cooler conditions will allow crews to assess the road today.
Winds to the southwest, between 25 and 35 kilometres per hour, are expected for the afternoon today.
Back-burning activities are being undertaken when conditions are suitable, and crews are working hard to create fireguards around communities and infrastructure. This photo shows a sprinkler system pumping water from the Tuya River to protect a bridge over the Tuya. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/Zf1kyfxpgi— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 17, 2018
The main priority for crews continues to be protecting the communities of Telegraph Creek and Glenora, as well as important infrastructure and structures like bridges.
Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect for the area, which you can learn more about by clicking this link.
(UPDATE: Aug. 15 @ 12:55 p.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire continues it's trend of significant daily growth.
BC Wildfire reports the fire, located 5 kilometres northwest of Telegraph Creek, is now at 36,381 hectares, up from 33,150 hectares on Tuesday.
Evacuation orders and alerts remain in effect for the area, which you can learn more about by clicking this link.
Crews consisting of 122 firefighters, 21 pieces of heavy equipment and 11 helicopters continue to battle the blaze, along with a large night shift.
Not much other new information has been provided by BC Wildfire today.
(UPDATE: Aug. 14 @ 9:10 p.m.) - BCWS reported this afternoon that the Alkali Lake wildfire remains at 33,150 hectares.
No further updates have been reported.
(UPDATE: Aug. 14 @ 8:25 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire continues to grow steadily.
As of late Monday night, it was measured at 33,150 hectares, over 2,000 hectares more than it was listed at on Monday morning.
"Work is being done to identify and remove burnt trees that pose a safety threat in Telegraph Creek and along the Hwy 51 corridor," says the latest update from BC Wildfire. "Crews are also assessing hazards and are working to cool hot spots in Telegraph Creek."
Guards are being constructed between the south guard and the Stikine River, on Golden Bear Road to Tuya River and into the Tuya drainage.
Burn operations are being used to increase containment, remove pockets of fuel and create a fireguard, but only when conditions allow.
On the bright side, literally, power has been restored to most of Telegraph Creek and BC Hydro crews have now turned their attention to the Sawmill Lake area.
A total of 157 firefighters, 21 pieces of heavy equipment and 13 helicopters remain on this blaze.
(UPDATE: Aug. 13 @ 12:50 p.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire has grown to 31,110.
Located near Telegraph Creek in northwest B.C., it's the biggest of the nearly 600 wildfires currently burning in the province.
The BC Wildfire Service has allocated a lot of resources to the massive blaze, with 157 firefighters, 21 pieces of heavy equipment and 13 helicopters currently on site.
Air tanker support is also available when suitable objectives exist.
An Australian incident management team has also arrived on scene and will work alongside the BC Wildfire team for a couple of days before assuming full control of fire management.
BC Wildfire says the protection of life and property are the top priorities, as there have already been structures lost in Telegraph Creek.
There are also evacuation alerts and orders in place, which you can learn more about by clicking this link.
(UPDATE: Aug. 11 @ 11:30 p.m.) - The South Stikine River and Alkali Lake wildfire amalgamation (now referred to solely as the Alkali Lake wildfire) is still recorded at 30,000 hectares in size.
Crews and air support continue their work to minimize damages to the Telegraph Creek and Glenora communities, including removing burnt trees that pose a threat to the communities and the Highway 51 corridor.
Ground crews, air support and equipment continue to work on the Alkali Lake #BCwildfire near Telegraph (part of the Stikine complex of fires). If conditions allow, crews will use burn operations to increase containment, remove pockets of fuel and create fireguards. pic.twitter.com/7oF2pMguQi— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 11, 2018
Guards are being constructed by heavy equipment on the south flank of the fire as well as at the 70-kilometre mark of Highway 51.
Burn operations are being performed when possible to increase fire containment, create a fireguard and remove pockets of fuel.
According to BCWS, power has been restored to some areas of Telegraph Creek and BC Hydro Personnel continue to work on infrastructure in the area.
There are 145 firefighters, 12 helicopters and 20 units of heavy equipment on site with air support available.
(UPDATE: August 10 @ 10:50 p.m.) - According to BCWS, the South Stikine River wildfire has merged with the Alkali Lake wildfire to amalgamate into a massive 30,000-hectare blaze (300 square kilometres).
Crews and air support are working in conjunction to minimize further impact to the Telegraph Creek Community as well as culturally significant sites and infrastructures in the area.
The forecasted cold fronts did not materialize but, fortunately, the fire did receive some rain — although, not much at 2.6 millimetres.
Crews are continuing to work to restore power in the Stikine area, which has been off since Sunday evening due to the wildfire. There are 141 customers affected by the outage with no estimated time of when the power will be reestablished.
UPDATE: August 8 @ 10:25 p.m.) - BCWS has reported that the Alkali Lake wildfire is expected to merge with the South Stikine River wildfire.
The fires were last documented at an estimated 9,000 hectares and 19,000 hectares, respectively.
BCWS said the two fires will merge "if they have not already."
(1/2) The Alkali Lake #BCwildfire (~9,000 ha) and South Stikine River fire (~19,000 ha) near Telegraph Creek are still showing significant fire activity. The fires are expected to merge into one if they have not already. 95 personnel, 10 helis, heavy equip. and airtankers on site pic.twitter.com/Y2L4TMZ99W— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 8, 2018
BCWS reports that the fire is continuing to show aggressive and volatile behaviour with high winds and dry conditions hindering suppression efforts.
The protection of structures and life will continue to be a top priority for firefighters as they work to protect the community of Telegraph Creek near the wildfire.
(UPDATE: August 8 @ 12 a.m.) - The Alkali Lake wildfire, which has been wreaking havoc in northern B.C., has grown to 9,000 hectares.
The fire continues to show aggressive behaviour to the 78 firefighters, nine helicopters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment actioning it.
Strong winds and dry conditions continue to challenge suppression efforts. Although, there was rain the Dease Lake area overnight, reports BCWS, no precipitation was recorded in the Telegraph Creek area.
(Original Story: August 7 @ 6 p.m.)
Northern British Columbia has several large wildfires burning within the Northwest Fire Centre boundary, one of which has affected 27 structures in the area.
The Alkali Lake wildfire, burning five kilometres northwest of Telegraph Creek, was estimated at 7,800 hectares earlier this afternoon and is considered out of control.
BCWS confirmed that the growing conflagration has impacted 27 structures but were unable to clarify the degree of damage the structures had received from the Alkali Creek wildfire and which types of structures had been affected.
"We did have a significant wind event on the fire and it did move somewhat into the [community of] Telegraph Creek area where some structures were impacted [Monday] night," said Heather Rice, Fire Information Officer.
BCWS says they're working closely with the Dease Lake communities and the Tahltan First Nation community in respect to the fires.
The fire is being actioned by 78 firefighters, nine helicopters and 15 units of heavy equipment with the protection of life and property as their top priority. Structure Protection units are also on-site battling the fire..
The South Stikine River wildfire is also burning in the Stikine Complex at 6,000 hectares near the Alkali wildfire and within the Highway 51 corridor.
The Stikine Complex of nine wildfires is located near the remote communities of Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake in northwestern BC. The below image was taken today of the South Stikine River #BCwildfire. Visit the Fires of Note page on https://t.co/gJcJEU6ETf for additional info. pic.twitter.com/6y1IojMwgs— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 7, 2018
Evacuation Alerts and Order have been issued by the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDOKS) to properties in the area of Yehinko Creek to Caribou Meadows as shown below, including properties in Telegraph Creek.
NowMedia will provide more information as it becomes available.