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Crews make first attack on fire

Firefighters made their first attack on the Mount McAllister fire outside Hudson's Hope Thursday, as cool conditions and light rain made it possible to put boots on the ground for the first time.


Firefighters made their first attack on the Mount McAllister fire outside Hudson's Hope Thursday, as cool conditions and light rain made it possible to put boots on the ground for the first time.

The fire was under observation for its first few days, as high winds made the prospect of putting crews on the ground too dangerous.

The Wildfire Management Branch was also able to more accurately gauge the size of the fire, revising it's original estimate of 20,000 hectares down to 16,000.

"We'll have crews and heavy equipment moving up to the fire today," said fire information officer Jill Kelsh.

A storm in the area complicated matters, she said.

"We're going to watch for gusty winds, but we'll have crews on site as soon as it's safe to do so. We're going to use this cool period over the next few days to our advantage.

The crews assigned to the fire were staging in Chetwynd Thursday. A structural protection unit was assigned to Hudson's Hope to install a sprinkler system. The town itself was not in danger as of Thursday morning.

"It's based on the winds, but we don't expect it to spread that far within a few hours by any means," she said.

Crews would work around the clock to contain the fire, said Kelsh.

The fire, which officials believe was caused by lightning, was first discovered on July 13. It is currently 56 kilometers west of Chetwynd.