***Update: Based on a July 11, 1:35pm update from the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is estimated at 215 hectares

 

As the Little Oliver Creek Wildfire continues to burn above Highway 16 outside Terrace, firefighters have made efforts to push the flames away from the road. 

As of 3pm Wednesday, Fire Information Offier Morgain Blois says the fire is now estimated to be about 130 hectares.

"All the growth that we've been seeing in the last few hours, it's been in a cut block and some slash. So not burning up in the tinder right now, and we had some air tankers on it yesterday that put fire retardant on the North, and South West flanks right between the fire perimeter and the highway, so that the growth would kind of move towards the alpine if needed. And that is holding really strong today. So we haven't seen any more growth toward the highway or any infrastructure in the area."

Blois says there are currently about 10 people working on site, with two helicopters, and support from some heavy equiment. But she says they are also requesting more resources, to hopefully come tomorrow - depending on availability. 

She says the fire is still classified as 'Out of Control', but movement has decreased. 

"So continued growth is expected at this time. However, it is burning in a very rocky and cliffy area up into the alpine, which makes it challenging to move too quick without the appropriate wind and weather. So right now, fire behavior is decreased a little bit from what we were seeing yesterday."

She says the wind picking up could have an effect in the next while;

"So kind of looking at the next few hours, going into the afternoon and evening today, we are expecting it to be sustained at about 20 to 30 kilometers per say, about 20 kilometers per hour, wind gusts up to 30 kilometers per hour. So that could potentially fuel the fire to grow a little bit. However, like I said earlier, that that western flank of the highway is holding really strong from where the air tankers put retardant. So crews are able to focus their priority on the Northern Link so that this doesn't cross the middle of the creek. And so just really working to put in some control lines along the northern flank this afternoon."

Blois says that motorists driving along Highway 16 should be cautious and aware that there will be smoke in the area that could impair visibility on the highway. She also says to remember it's currently an active work site.

Be aware that there will be crews, machinery, and helicopters in the area, and it's important to be cautious and not disturb the work they're doing -  and to continue moving along the highway without unecessary stopping.