July 20, 2017 9:06 pm
Updated: July 22, 2017 3:09 pm

UPDATE: Princeton area wildfire 100 per cent contained

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The Princeton-area wildfire is now 100 per cent contained, BC Wildfire Service confirmed Saturday.

Deputy Incident Commander Brent Zbaraschuk said the perimeter has not changed in over 96 hours, and crews have a hose guard surrounding the fire zone.

He added that there are still several hot spots within the area, which makes the fire extremely dangerous despite the containment.

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Friday saw the announcement that the majority of evacuation orders in the area were being lifted, allowing residents to return to their homes Saturday morning. Those homes will remain under an evacuation alert.

An evacuation order remains in effect for 17 homes along the southern end of Summers Creek Rd. Another 300 properties are still under evacuation alerts.

On Thursday, the fire was already a flicker of its former self.

“Things are going excellent and we’re making great progress,” said Deputy Incident Commander Brent Zbaraschuk on Thursday.

Ten bucketing helicopters are assigned to the wildfire, 16 pieces of heavy equipment are available, and 168 firefighters have laid out 34 kilometres of hose line.

On Thursday, ground crews were working inwards from the blaze perimeter, using water lines and hand tools to snuff out smouldering hot spots.

“I estimate 65 per cent of the fuel did not burn inside the perimeter, said Zbarascuk. “So we’ve got to get in and find hot spots so the fire doesn’t re-ignite and climb up ladder fuels to the crown.”

The weather has been working in their favour with cooler temperatures and higher humidity in recent days. There’s some rain in the forecast but lightning and wind along with the thunderstorms are always a concern.

“Wind is a critical issue,” said Buettner. “Anytime you have gusts, all it takes is one spark to jump across our containment and we could be back to square one.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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