VIDEO: Clinton-area residents say controlled burn went ‘horribly wrong’

Officials point to a “dramatic and unforecasted shift” in the wind

Residents near 20 Mile Ranch and south of Clinton are voicing their anger on social media after what they call a “controlled burn gone horribly wrong” caused the flames to jump across Highway 97.

Photos posted to Facebook on Tuesday show heavy smoke near rural properties in the Loon Lake area near Maiden Creek.

“It was about 15 minutes from the time they started until the hydro transistor on the big pole blew apart and maybe a few more minutes until it crossed west onto Hwy 97,” one post on the 20 Mile Ranch Facebook group reads.

“There were some very strong winds blowing when they started that didn’t just magically appear after the burn was already going. This fire is now raging on another mountainside and it’s going to be a beastly one to gain any control on.”

Fire information officer Heather Rice said Wednesday morning fire crews were focused on holding the fire on the hill, away from the highway.

“We actioned that immediately with lots of water from the helicopters and air skimmers and were able to hold that fire,” Rice said. “It went up to the top of the ridge and then stalled, which is often what happens in the evening when a fire hits the top of a hill. So the plan today is, of course, to hold it in that particular spot.”

Highway 97 remains closed from Loon Lake to the Hwy. 99 junction. An evacuation order was issued for areas south and west of Clinton Wednesday afternoon.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said Wednesday afternoon there had been a “dramatic and unforecasted shift in the wind,” which caused the fire spillover.

“At the time it was ignited, the weather was as forecasted and a lot of design goes into when we do these things,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is when fires get to this size, the use of the controlled ignition is one of the best hacks that we have in terms of trying to control them.”

I am writing this post from Maiden Creek in the middle of our field at 4:15 am. It is with the saddest of heart that I…

Posted by Teri-Lyn Dougherty on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

— More to come.

Just Posted

RCMP officer cleared in Prince George arrest

A suspect’s leg was fractured in 2015 incident

New cut level set for Prince George Timber Supply Area

This represents a 33% decrease from the allowable annual cut of 12.5 million cubic metres set in 2011.

Work camp west of Tchesinkut Lake

TransCanada to build work camp near Burns Lake, possibly Vanderhoof

No one should go hungry, Support your local Food Bank

When it comes to the basics, food is at the top of… Continue reading

BC Ferries restricts passengers from lower vehicle decks

The new regulations will no longer allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on closed car decks.

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Most Read