FORT ST JOHN, B.C. — A four-kilometre planned ignition on the Donnie Creek wildfire on Sunday afternoon was a success, according to BC Wildfire Service.
Julia Caranci, fire information officer on the Donnie Creek Complex, said some planned ignitions occurred between Jedney Road and the Beatton River on the southwest corner of the fire.
“This work was done to solidify some containment lines they’ve been working on along that Southwest flank of the fire,” Caranci said.
“Because Sunday and the day before were quite clear with blue skies, the ignition created a very visible column of smoke later in the afternoon that was highly visible from a number of areas.”
Caranci said the Prince George Fire Centre received some calls about the smoke, but the ignition operations successfully removed unburnt fuels from that section.
The Donnie Creek Complex consists of the Donnie Creek, Klua Lakes, Muskwa River, Zaremba Creek, Beatton River, Milligan Hills, Fontas River wildfires, and a fire located approximately 135 kilometres north of Fort St. John, now known as the Kahntah River wildfire.
The Donnie Creek wildfire is still out of control at approximately 583,153 hectares.
According to the fire information officer, the fire is not affecting traffic on the Alaska Highway, but she encourages drivers to check DriveBC for the most up-to-date information.
On Monday, about 50 firefighters, six pieces of heavy equipment, ten structure protection personnel and five helicopters are working on the fire.
Caranci said crews are mainly working on the south and southwest flanks of the fire.
Despite the rain in the Peace region this past weekend, she said there was no significant rain on the complex over the last two days. However, they expect rain to hit the entire complex on Tuesday, but they are unsure how much precipitation it will receive.
“It’s not what we would call any kind of season-ending event, but it will be the first amount of significant rainfall to be expected in some time,” Caranci said.
She hopes it will buy them a week to ten days of lower fire activity, and there will be no more planned ignitions until after the rainfall.
Also, part of the Donnie Creek Complex, the Fontas River wildfire is now approximately 19,166 hectares, and the Beatton River wildfire is now under control at 11 hectares.
The Muskwa River wildfire is being held at 21,056 hectares, the Klua Lakes wildfire is 44,241 hectares, the Zaremba Creek wildfire is 14,714 hectares, the Kahntah River wildfire is 1,037 hectares, and the Milligan Hills wildfire is 354 hectares.
The Tooga Creek wildfire is now around 41,156 hectares, and an evacuation alert remains in place for the area.
The Kotcho Lake wildfire discovered on June 27th grew to about 4,630 hectares, and the fire five kilometres north of Beckman Creek discovered on June 13th is now being held at about 793 hectares.
The area restriction around the South Peace Complex was rescinded on July 6th.
The special air quality statement issued by Environment Canada on June 20th for Fort Nelson and the North Peace region continues. The air quality is at a high risk in Fort St. John in areas with smoke.
The latest information on air quality can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.
For the latest wildfire information, visit BCWS’ website.