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Progress made on wildfires with help of wet weather

Forecast calls for scattered showers for rest of week
Tentfire Creek  July 6
Tentfire Creek wildfire south of Tumbler Ridge on July 6.

Crews made weather-aided progress on quelling wildfires in the the Prince George region over the weekend and are hoping the trend will continue in the days ahead.

B.C. Wildfire Service communications officer Sharon Nickel said a "decent amount of rain" fell over the weekend varying from as little as five millimetres of rain to as much as 30 mm depending on the area of the Prince George Fire Centre.

"That definitely had a nice impact for all of our fire sites," Nickel said.

An evacuation order was lifted for the Camsell Lake wildfire on Saturday, allowing nearly 60 people from the Yekooche First Nation to return to their home at the north end of Stuart Lake.

An evacuation order remains in place for the Manson Creek area north of Fort St. James in relation to the Mount Porter fire and, as of Monday morning, about 30 evacuees remained in Prince George. 

Southwest of Prince George, two wildfires at Shesta Lake were brought under control and one further south at Punchaw Lake was being held. Nickel said the progress has allowed the BCWS to redeploy resources to the Cuttoff Creek and Grizzly Lake wildfires to the west.

At 21,500 hectares, Cuttoff Creek is the largest blaze in the PGFC while the Grizzly Lake fire stood at 4,600 ha. and was listed as out of control as of Monday morning. Further south, the Purdy Lake fire stood at 7,900 hectares and evacuation alerts and access restrictions remain in place for much of the area.

Further north, the Tentfire Creek fire south of Tumbler Ridge was brought under control.

Looking ahead, scattered showers and cooler weather is forecast for most of the week, albeit with some thunderstorms in the mix. 

"That's definitely a plus for us," Nickel said. "We're kind of hoping it stays the way it is right now and we don't get that dry heat again."

Along with creating ground-level moisture, Nickel said the humidity that comes with wet weather prevents a "quick changeover to that hot, dry condition that fire likes to be able to move quickly."

Nickel said there will be little change in the amount of resources deployed in the PGFC. Attacks from the air remain limited to helicopters with fixed-wing aircraft concentrated further south.