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Pine River wildfire now at 2,542 hectares

The Pine River wildfire, along Highway 97 between Chetwynd and Mackenzie, is now estimated to be 2,542 hectares in size. It is currently listed as being out of control

Highway 97, which was closed Friday between Powder King Road and Old Hasler Road, is now open. This status may change depending on wildfire activity. Please check Drive BC for updates and slow down for crews working in the area.

Fire activity on the Pine River wildfire Saturday was considerably lower and there was minimal fire growth. Approximately nine millimetres of precipitation accumulated overnight and low fire activity was anticipated to continue Sunday. A cold front moving through the fire centre is forecasted to bring high winds with gusts up to 70 kilometres per hour to the area, which could increase fire activity later in the day.

Crews and equipment are working today to establish a fire guard along the east side of the fire. Crews are continuing mop up along the south flank. A structure protection specialist was expected to arrive Sunday.

The Pine River wildfire is currently burning parallel to BC Hydro’s 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line Right-of-Way (ROW). There are three 500kV transmission lines running side by side in the ROW and they are part of the backbone of the provincial transmission grid. The powerlines are supported on large steel towers.

If power is lost from one area of the province, BC Hydro can reroute it through another area. For example, if power supply from the Peace region was lost, BC Hydro would increase output from their Columbia region facilities, or other stations elsewhere in the province. A visual inspection of the transmission lines was completed on August 14 and no BC Hydro structures appear to be damaged; however, heavy smoke from the fire did reduce visibility. An additional flight occurred this morning, August 15. All three 500kV transmission lines are in service at this time.

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