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Forestry crews busy spotting new fires spawned by overnight storm

Last Updated Aug 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm PDT

(File Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is some relief in the forecast for crews working on that massive wildfire that continues to grow near Harrison Lake. News1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate says as much as 15 millimetres could fall around the fire today.

The blaze has expanded again, now sitting at 650 hectares, which is an estimate.

Fire Information Officer Donna MacPherson says they’re seeing a lot of smoke right now, which is good and bad.

“It will actually cool the temperature underneath the fire but the smoke does impact air operations a great deal. Air tankers and helicopters fly by line of sight, they have to be able to see the ground to be able to do their work. If the smoke is in the way, the air support is limited.”

“The weather is a relief, let’s put it that way. It gives a little bit of a pause and it gives the people an opportunity to position themselves. It lowers the fire behaviour on the existing fire a little bit,” MacPherson adds.

She explains the only downfall of the rain is they can’t conduct controlled burns — which is fighting fire with fire.

“To do that effectively you actually have to have good burning conditions, as odd as it sounds because the purpose of that fire is to remove fuel ahead of the fire to slow its growth. On rainy days, or drippy days they can’t do those kinds of things.”

No homes are threatened by the fire, which was sparked by a person.

Elsewhere around the province, a storm rolled through the Interior late yesterday causing 400 lightning strikes which started more than a dozen new wildfires.