The Shovel Lake wildfire has seen substantial growth in the last 24 hours, now listed at approximately 5,000 hectares, according to the BC Wildfire Service.
Remaining active in the Bulkley-Nechako region, the fire, which was discovered on July 27 approximately 25 kilometres Northwest of Fraser Lake, is currently sitting at 0 per cent contained.
The BC Wildfire Service states that as of August 1, there are 101 firefighters on scene, accompanied by seven helicopters and 33 pieces of heavy equipment. Furthermore, an Incident Management Team has also been dispatched to manage this fire.
Crews are reportedly continuing their work in hopes of establishing some form of containment on the southern flank with machine guard and hose lay. Yesterday — July 31 — crews successfully supported containment lines by performing a burn out 2km up the Owl Lake Extension road.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, performing a burn out reduces the overall fire spread potential by eliminating un-burned forest fuels between a control line and the fire perimeter. Additionally, burning out can force the fires edge to natural boundaries, such as a lake or rock outcropping, or to constructed boundaries, like machine or hand guard.
Firefighters are also working on the western and northern flanks of the fire today by reopening the road system between Nest road and Roof road. This is being done to support the establishment of containment lines, while also completing the equipment guard along Helene Lake.
There is active and ongoing collaborative measures between the BC Wildfire Service and local industry for additional equipment support.
Finally, active fire behaviour is expected throughout the day, due to moderate winds, high temperatures, low relative humidifies and expected thunderstorm activity later this afternoon.
Both the Evacuation Alert issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the Area Restriction Order implemented by the BC Wildfire Service are still in place.
The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.