Wildfire report: three major fires up north ‘totally contained’

Leader staff

Three active wildfires in the Slave Lake district had been 100 per cent contained as of July 4. As of that day, the forest protection people were confident in saying Fires 51, 52 and 49 were not going anywhere, no matter what the conditions.
As reported earlier, 51 and 52 were in the Otter Lakes area, north of Little Buffalo. Eighty firefighters and four helicopters continued to work on extinguishing hot spots last week.
The other major fire was 49, located near Hwy. 88 north of Red Earth Creek. It got to 320 hectares in size before it was held. Started on June 25 by lightning, the fire had 34 firefighters and a couple of helicopters mopping up last week.
The news continued to be good on those fires as the week continued. Wildfire Information Officer Leah Lovequist told The Leader on Friday morning that an infrared scan (by helicopter) of all three fires revealed just three smouldering ground fire spots. Having identified those, the plan was to send in ground forces to douse them.
Two small fires started over the July 1 weekend, but both were caught early and extinguished. They brought the total to 64 in the district this year, with a total area burnt of 653 hectares.
Hot weather late last week and into the weekend put the hazard back up into the high range, following a few days of wet and cool. But as of Saturday’s report nothing much had happened. More lightning was expected over the weekend.


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