BC Wildfire Service says that they are expecting the very real possibility of extreme and violently aggressive fire behaviour in the Cariboo.

“We are especially concerned with what this wind is going to do for the fires we have burning throughout the Cariboo and southern BC where we have a number of active fires,” says Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek. “The cold front is expected to hit early this afternoon, early evening and could potentially persist for up to 24 hours.”

Skrepnek says the Ashcroft Reserve Fire saw explosive growth Friday prompting the expansion of an evacuation order to include Loon Lake as well as an evacuation alert for the Village of Clinton in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

In the Cariboo Fire Centre:

233 firefighters are on scene of the Gustafson Wildfire which remains at 20% containment.

Heather Rice is the Fire Information Officer for the fire.

“Smoke has challenged our firefighters but they’re doing the best. I think as most people have heard by now the weather forecast for today and later today could mean increasing winds, and with the amount of smoke we have predicting that weather can be somewhat difficult because local smoke can actually influence the local weather.”

Rice says smoke could make temperatures cooler and actually help their efforts even though it does hinder their air craft getting up into the air.

She says they will be challenged on all fronts today as the winds predicted come up.

The Gustafson fire is one of 16 wildfires of note within the Cariboo Fire Centre which are highly visible or which pose a potential threat to public safety.

The largest fire is the Hanceville Fires located about 60 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake which as of Thursday was an estimated 40,000 hectares in size and 0% contained.

–>150 Mile House Fire located just south of Williams Lake

as of Saturday, July 15

50% contained
2,600 hectares in size
Resources: 96 firefighters, 22 pieces of heavy of equipment, air support, line locators, and support staff.
–>Castle Rock/Twan Lake South located approximately 45km northwest of Williams Lake

as of Saturday, July 15

0% contained
2,200 hectares
Resources: 12 firefighters, 15 pieces of heavy equipment
–>Castle Rock/Twan Lake Quesnel Area Command

as of Saturday, July 15

5% contained
1,600 hectares
Resources: 12 firefighters, 15 pieces of heavy equipment
—>Chezacut Complex approximately 140 km northwest of Williams Lake

as of Thursday, July 13

3,000 hectares
—>Geen Mountain just west of Dragon Mountain and approximately 25 km southeast of Quesnel

as of Saturday, July 15

80% contained
520 hectares
Resources: 41 firefighters 11 pieces of heavy equipment
—>Hawkes Creek located 8km due north of Williams Lake Aiport

as of Saturday, July 15

25% contained
520 hectares
Resources: 75 firefighters, 10 pieces of heavy equipment, and air support.
—>Kleena Kleene Complex west of Highway 20, approximately 200km west of Williams Lake

as of Thursday, July 13

2,300 hectares
—>Riske Creek 50 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.

As of Thursday, July 13

7,000 hectares
–>Soda Creek Fire west side of Highway 97, 17 km northwest of Williams Lake Airport

as of Saturday, July 15

30% contained
250 hectares
Resources: 6 firefighters, 4 pieces of heavy equipment, and air support
–>Spokin Lake Rd. approximately 20 km east of Williams Lake

as of Saturday July 15

75% contained
460 hectares
Resources: 83 firefighters 12 heavy equipment, air support, line locators and support staff
—>Tautri Complex just north of Rosita-Meldrum Forest Service Road, approximately 80km northwest of Williams Lake

as of Saturday, July 15

0% contained
15,000 hectares
—>West Fraser Road on the west side of Highway 97, approximately 6km southwest of Australian and 30km south of Quesnel

as of Saturday, July 15

120 hectares
Resources: 35 firefighters, 2 pieces of heavy equipment
–>White Lake located northwest of Williams Lake

as of Saturday, July 15

60% contained
3,800 hectares
Resources: 61 firefighters, 12 pieces of heavy equipment, air support, line locators, and support staff.
—>Wildwood Fire located just north of Williams Lake

as of Saturday, July 15

40% contained
2,500 hectares
Resources: 85 firefighters, 17 pieces of heavy equipment, air support, line locators, and support staff.

With files from Rebecca Kelly, MyCaribooNow.com