(UPDATE: Sept. 13th @ 7:20 a.m.) - One of the summer's biggest wildfires is now under control.
According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, the Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire that was burning near Williams Lake is 100% contained.
"This fire is under control," said the latest update. "Today, crews will continue to action hotspots detected by infrared scans, as well as mop up and patrol."
In the coming days, crews will continue to demob gear and remove structural protection units as fallers remove hazardous trees.
The fire, which was caused by lightning, started burning on July 8th and reached a size of 239,673 hectares.
(UPDATE: Sept. 4th @ 1:30 p.m.) - The Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire is now 50% contained and is estimated at 239,657 hectares.
Firefighters continue to action hot spots along the southern flank and action hotspots identified by an infrared aerial scan. Today, crews will mop-up the Farwell Canyon and Big Creek area.
Yesterday firefighters worked along the fire perimeter in the northern finger suppressing hotspots identified from the infrared aerial scan conducted a few days ago.
There are currently 11 helicopters, 58 pieces of heavy equipment, 217 firefighters, and 180 Canadian Forces firefighters responding to the fire
(UPDATE: Sept. 2nd @ 2:13 p.m.)
This fire is estimated to be 238,451 hectares and 40% contained.
Crews continue to make progress on the wildfire.
The east side was quiet on Friday.
Firefighters continue to mop-up hot spots along the north area after a burn-out operation was conducted earlier this week.
The fire continues to stay with in containment lines.
The warmer conditions in the forecast are expected to increase fire behaviour.
Residents may observe smoke columns within the perimeter.
(UPDATE: Aug. 15th @ 8:30 a.m.) - The Hanceville-Riske Creek wildfire is nearing a milestone, but not a positive one.
The fire now sits at 193,894 hectares and is just over 30,000 hectares away from being the biggest wildfire in B.C. history.
A couple of weeks ago, the fire was listed as 45% contained and things were looking positive, but since then that number has dropped down to just 25%.
Significant fire behaviour was observed on the Hanceville-Riske Creek fire (Sunday) afternoon and evening, especially near the Bald Mountain area," said the latest update from the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS). "High winds allowed the fire to jump Highway 20 and caused BCWS to recommend a closure of Highway 20 at Farwell Canyon Road to the Alex Graham Road/600 Road in both directions, due to safety concerns."
There are currently 248 firefighters, 86 pieces of heavy equipment and 14 helicopters fighting the fire, which still has evacuation orders in effect.
You can find out more on those evacuation orders by visiting the Cariboo Regional District website.
(UPDATE: July 23rd @ 2:20 p.m.) - The Hanceville Wildfire is currently burning at 131,958 hectares and is 45% contained.
Crews are working on the southeast corner to protect against anticipated winds later this week.
(UPDATE: July 22nd @ 1:40 p.m.) - The Hanceville Wildfire has grown another 300+ hectares.
The Hanceville Wildfire is estimated to be 132,351 hectares in size and 0% contained.
Crews are working on building a guard.
(UPDATE: July 21st @ 1:30 p.m.) - The Hanceville-Riske Creek Wildfire only grew a minor amount between Thursday and Friday.
The fire, which was at 132,000 hectares as of Thursday afternoon, is now listed at 135,000 hectares, however, it is still 0% contained.
"We have established guard along the east side of the fire down as far as Farwell Rapids," said Navi Sani from the BC Wildfire Service. "The fire jumped the highway in three spots and also jumped the Farwell Lake road is 3 places, but all excursions were caught and guarded."
The fire is now the biggest in the Cariboo Fire Centre's history, while the Elephant Hill Wildfire near Ashcroft and Cache Creek is the largest fire in the Kamloops Fire Centre's history.
(UPDATE: July 20th @ 2:30 p.m.) - The Hanceville-Riske Creek Wildfire still sits at 0% containment and has now grown to 132,000 hectares.
There are still 145 firefighters and 14 helicopters battling the blaze, which is a combination of multiple wildfires that joined together earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, the sky was too smoky for airtanker operations but crews and heavy equipment will work through the night to hot-spot, build guard, and remove fine fuels along the highway.
The evacuation order remains in effect.
(UPDATE: July 19th @ 2:10 p.m.) - The Hanceville-Riske Creek Wildfire is now estimated at 125,000 hectares and 0% contained.
This was originally a number of fires about 60 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake that joined together earlier this week.
"We did have some good progress building some fuel free areas with heavy equipment, bulldozers, things like that, on the north east and north side of the fire," Chief Fire Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek, told the media on Wednesday.
An update on resources fighting the fire hasn't yet been made on Wednesday, but as of Tuesday there were 145 firefighters and 14 helicopters battling the blaze.
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(Original story: July 18th @ 2:45 p.m.) - A group of wildfires burning near Williams Lake have finally been classified as one fire.
The Hanceville Fires were burning separately, but in the same area, about 60 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.
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According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fires have joined up and it’s now considered one wildfire.
It’s been estimated at 98,000 hectares in size and it’s listed as 0% contained at this time.
“Crews had some successful guard creation last night, reducing some fuels as well, on the west side of the fire south of Anahim Lake,” said Chief Fire Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek. “It’s certainly a large fire and at 98,000 hectares that is our largest fire currently burning in the province.”
There are 145 firefighters and 14 helicopters currently battling the large blaze.
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They’ll be tested on Tuesday by hot and dry conditions, as well as light winds in the area.
To check on evacuations because of this fire, visit the Cariboo Regional District website.