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Cutoff Creek wildfire down to short strokes

Cool overnight temperatures to help maintain momentum, official says
22 Cutoff Creek fire
Smoke billows from trees being consumed by the Cutoff Creek wildfire southwest of Vanderhoof earlier this month.

The campaign to douse the Cutoff Creek wildfire southwest of Prince George has entered the mop-up stage.

As of Tuesday morning, crews were out putting out hotspots and conducting a "direct attack" with firefighters "right up against the fire" said Sharon Nickel, a B.C. Wildfire Service communications officer for the Prince George Fire Centre. 

First discovered on July 2, the lightning caused wildfire of note has grown to more than 23,000 hectares since then, making it the largest fire in the Prince George Fire Centre so far this summer and the source of much of the smoke that engulfed the city at times.

The threat has since declined enough for an evacuation alert, first imposed by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the Saik'uz First Nation on July 20, to be lifted on Monday afternoon. 

With crews still working the fire, an evacuation restriction from the BCWS remains in place, "but the fire activity isn't nearly as high as when we were in the midst of that heat wave," Nickel said, and noted that over 70 millimetres of rain fell during the spate of wet weather that followed.

The only evacuation alert that remains in place is for the Mount Porter wildfire west of Williston Lake.

Little has changed on the other wildfires burning in the region over the previous 24 hours.

"We haven't really seen any growth on anything because we've had such good weather," Nickel said.

With a ridge of high pressure coming through, mainly sunny weather with temperatures into the high 20s remain in the forecast for the rest of the week but with fairly cool temperatures overnight.

"It's nice and cool overnight," Nickel said. "As long as we get to maintain some of the humidity in the air, that's always helpful. 

"When the air is just hot and dry, fire takes off a lot quicker - it prefers that - but when you've got more moisture, just even in the air, it slows it down."