Chelaslie River fires by far the biggest

Entiako Provincial Park remained out of bounds Thursday as the massive Chelaslie River wildfire southwest of Prince George continued to burn.

At nearly 114,000 hectares, the blaze is by far the largest of the dozen wildfires of note crews are currently battling in B.C. The next biggest is a 63,269-hectare fire west of Fort St. John, although the size of the White Complex wildfire in the Kootenay region is not yet known.

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In total 321 firefighters, 16 helicopters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment have been assigned to the Chelaslie River fire, the B.C. wildfire management branch said in an update Wednesday. The lightning-caused blaze was first discovered on July 8.

Entiako Park was closed six days later and since then both the Bulkley-Nechako and Cariboo Regional Districts have issued evacuation alerts for areas near the fire.

On Aug. 13, the Bulkley-Nechako district upgraded an evacuation alert to an evacuation order for the east half of the Tetachuck Lake area, from the north bank of Uchu Reach, 1.5 km south of Chedakuz Forest Service Road and for the eastern boundary of Entiako Park to the eastern and southern boundary of Ootsa Lake Rural.

And as of Aug. 2, the B.C. wildfire management branch closed an area from the Kluskus Forest Service Road off the Natalkuz 500 road, south and west of the Kluskus Forest Service Road into the Vantine, Malaput and Chedakuz areas.

A checkpoint to restrict access was established at 118 km on the Kluskus Forest Service Road and the Red Road was closed at 77.5 km.

Elsewhere, the 3,700-hectare China Nose fire 15 km south of Houston remained at 40 per cent contained as of Thursday morning .

"Crews continue to mop-up on the northeast and west flank and establish a 25-foot wet line on the south and east division," branch officials said. "Heavy equipment will continue to complete construction on the north and west flank contingency lines. Night operations will establish primary guard on the south flank and burn out pockets of fuels if conditions allow."

Also as of Thursday, the 1,500-hectare Stack Creek fire south of Powder King remained uncontained and with a crew of 13 firefighters and two helicopters working the fire's west side to prevent further spread.

And the 14,295-hectare Euchiniko Lakes fire, 120 kilometres west of Quesnel, was 75-per-cent contained.

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