Fire one-third contained, but crews very concerned about the weekend

High winds could force firefighters off the line

While the Princeton fire was declared 35 per cent contained this morning, BC Wildfire has serious concerns about the next two days, according to Incident Management Team information officer Marg Drysdale.

“We really want people to be aware that we are going to be getting gusts of winds of up to 50 km an hour and we are still going to have conditions that are extremely hot and dry,” said Drysdale in an interview with the Spotlight at 9 a.m. Friday.

“What might occur this weekend, if the winds are getting really high, they will likely pull crews out of the area because we wouldn’t want to put our people in jeopardy…They may have to pull people off the line.”

Drysdale said the containment areas, which are mostly on the southeast side of the fire, will be tested this weekend by the weather.

If the lines hold crews “will be very happy with the work they have done.”

The fire remains at 3,000 hectares.

Today the focus of the 156 firefighters on scene will be to strength the containment, she said.

“What’s happening now is they are building really, really good lines. They are using machine guards. They are building solid containment lines trying to get a really good handle on those areas where they think the winds are going to come from. They are solidifying those lines as much as they can.”

There has been only one minor injury reported from the fire crews in the past six days, said Drysdale.

“I have only heard of one minor injury and he was right back up the on the line. We are a very safety conscious organization and we don’t put our people or the public at any kind of risk.”

There are currently two incident management teams on site today, as a new team from Saskatchewan is transitioning to the Princeton fire.

“They are a type-one team. The come fully loaded and there people with credentials on this team that incredible.”