UPDATE: Red Deer Creek Fire grows to 450 hectares

Trent Ernst, Editor

 

A fire in the Red Deer Creek area, discovered on July 6, has grown to about 450 hectares.

According to the Wildfire Management Branch, the fire is expected to grow today, as warm weather and winds feed the fire.

Rain and cooler weather is expected over the next couple of days, though Wednesday may also see thunderstorms and the chance of more lighting, which is what sparked the fire in the first place.

If the fire cannot be contained, the weekend is expected to be dry and hot, which may exacerbate the situation.

Currently, three unit crews, three initial attack crews and an incident management team has been assigned to the fire, for a total of 70 firefighters.

In addition, there are five helicopters and four air tankers being used to fight the fire.

There is some oil and gas infrastructure in the area, though it is not in any immediate danger at the time.

The fire is located 61 km southeast of Tumbler Ridge, between Wapiti Provincial Park and the Alberta Boundary.

 

UPDATES

Trent Ernst, Editor

A fire in the Red Deer Creek area, discovered on July 6, is expected to grow to 4000 hectares in the next 24 hours.

According to the Tumbler Ridge Fire Department, the fire, which was at 650 hectares at last report, is expected to grow today, as warm weather and winds feed the fire.

Fire Chief Matt Treit says that, typically, fires slow down in the evening, but, according to the people he has spoken to, the winds are expected to continue into the evening, and the dry weather means there will be little moisture in the air, either.

While the forecast is for slightly cooler weather over the next couple of days, there is also the possibility of dry lighting overnight, sparking off additional fires.

If the fire cannot be contained, the weekend is expected to be dry and hot, which may exacerbate the situation.

Currently, three unit crews, three initial attack crews and an incident management team have been assigned to the fire, for a total of 70 firefighters.

In addition, there are five helicopters and four air tankers being used to fight the fire.

There is some oil and gas infrastructure in the area, though it is not in any immediate danger at the time. However, There is an evacuation order in effect for the area near the fire and two camps of oil/gas workers on the Ojay Road totaling about 200 workers have been evacuated. The Wildfire Management Branch has taken over one of the camps to use for their own crews, and is currently working with School District #59 to set up a command post at TRSS similar to the one that they established in 2006.

Says Fire Chief Triet: “This is in no way indicates that there is any immediate threat to Tumbler Ridge. It is simply the most prudent location for a command center for this fire.” He says they have “some very high tech computer modeling equipment” that they are using to predict what the fire will do, and “there is no expectation at all the fire will get to Tumbler Ridge.

A spokesperson from the Wildfire Management Branch this morning confirms what Chief Treit says: “We don’t expect the fire to get near Tumbler Ridge.”

An update on the situation from the District of Tumbler Ridge will be made available at approximately 12:00 pm on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014.

 

Press Release via Tumbler Ridge Fire Department

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 14:00 hrs.

The Red Deer Creek fire is continuing to grow at a fast rate. Early today (July 8, 2014) the fire was approximately 650 Hectares in size. By the end of today it is expected to cover about 2000 hectares, and by the end of tomorrow (July 9, 2014) it is predicted to have grown to 4000 hectares. The Wildfire Management Branch currently has 4 air tankers, 5 helicopters, and 70 firefighters fighting the fire. There is an evacuation order in effect for the area near the fire and two camps of oil/gas workers on the Ojay Road totaling about 200 workers have been evacuated. The Wildfire Management Branch has taken over one of the camps to use for their own crews.

The Wildfire Management Branch is currently working with School District #59 to set up a command post at TRSS similar to the one that they established in 2006. This is in no way indicates that there is any immediate threat to Tumbler Ridge. It is simply the most prudent location for a command center for this fire. According to a spokesperson from the Wildfire Management Branch this morning, “We don’t expect the fire to get near Tumbler Ridge”

An update on the situation from the District of Tumbler Ridge will be made available at approximately 12:00 pm on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014.

For more information, visit the Wildfire Management Branch’s website athttp://www.bcwildfire.ca/Situation/