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Lightning Strike on Thornhill Mountain last night, July 28, 2010. - Photo by Kevin Gooden
NEWS RELEASE · 29th July 2010
Northwest Fire Center
Above Picture taken of storm above Thornhill Mountain on July 28 by Kevin Gooden

Aggressive fire behaviour on the fire 17 kilometres south of the Yukon border has resulted in the closure of Highway 37.

The fire started as a result of lightning on Tuesday evening and is currently estimated at 210 hectares in size. The fire is burning within a volatile fuel type with very few natural breaks in the fuel. Due to aggressive behaviour on Wednesday evening crews were pulled off of the fire. The Northwest Fire Centre strongly believes that no fire is worth jeopardizing the safety of our crews.

On Wednesday three helicopters worked on the fire bucketing the fire with water, and airtankers worked to surround the fire with retardant in order to slow the fire’s growth. A total of 24 fire fighters also worked to contain the fire.

Fire officials will do an analysis of the fire today, and form a plan for managing the fire. This may involve protecting values at risk and letting other areas of the fire burn. One of the priorities will be to attempt to reopen Highway 37 and maintain traffic flow.

Over 29 fires have been ignited in the Northwest Fire Centre since Monday. The fire centre continues to respond to these new fires with initial attack crews to work to contain the fires at a small size. Prior to Monday, the fire centre had responded to 36 unwanted fires of which over 90 percent were contained at less than four hectares in size.

The Northwest Fire Centre is expecting more thunderstorms in the region again today with the potential for lightning to ignite additional wildfires. The public needs to exercise due diligence with all sources of heat as our resources are devoted to suppressing natural lightning caused fires.

The Northwest Fire Centre is responsible for fire suppression and forest protection for an area that stretches from Burns Lake to the Queen Charlotte Islands and from Tweedsmuir Park to the Yukon border.

If you see flames, smoke, or an abandoned campfire, please call *5555 on a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555. For the latest information on fire activity, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca. For Facebook and Twitter updates, as well as details about evacuation orders and alerts, road conditions and air quality advisories, go to www.firesafebc.ca.