(UPDATE: Aug. 21 @ 10:30 a.m.) - Air support continues to be grounded due to increasing smoke.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the smoke has reduced the fire behaviour, however, it has been difficult for personnel to determine the exact location of the fire perimeter.
Equipment has been used to create guard to stop any further growth. Ground crews and heavy equipment will continue working off the 238 Road to build a fuel-free containment line.
Today, there are 70 firefighters, eight helicopters and 23 pieces of heavy equipment on scene. There are also an additional 45 personnel, eight helicopters and 17 structural protection specialists being shared with the Shovel Lake wildfire.
(UPDATE: Aug. 20 @ 11:45 p.m.) - BCWS is reporting that the Island Lake wildfire remains active, but visibility is poor over the fire posing a challenge when sizing the fire.
Crews are working on addressing the 120-hectare excursion to the south of Anzus Lake that ran southeast towards Borel Lake this weekend.
According to BCWS, no structural values have been threatened by the fire, but an Evacuation Order does remain in effect.
Structural protection specialists are engaged with structural firefighters and equipment from the Office of the Fire Commissioner with respect to structures in the vicinity of the fire perimeter.
There are 65 firefighters, 15 units of heavy equipment and eight helicopters enlisted to the fire with an additional 45 support personnel, 17 Structural Protection Specialists and eight helicopters being shared between this fire and the Shovel Lake wildfire.
(UPDATE: Aug. 19 @ 9:15 p.m.) - Mapping of the Island Lake wildfire shows that it has grown over 2,000 hectares from its previous recorded size and is now measured at 17,291 hectares.
The smoke in the area has posed a challenge to mapping attempts from BCWS, who reported their last recorded mapping was conducted on Wednesday.
"It's been really, really smoky throughout the area . . . so it's been hard for us to get [an] accurate perimeter on the fire," explained Claire Allen, Fire Information Officer with BCWS. "Sometimes you can see it jump up in hectare size and that's more indicative of us being able to get good eyes on the fire to map it.
Saturday was an active day for the Island Lake wildfire with a 120-hectare excursion running southeastwards from Anzus Lake to Borel Lake.
Hand ignitions were conducted Saturday evening to support the development of safety zones between Borel Lake and Anzus Lake.
BCWS notes that Island Lake was exhibiting visible smoke Sunday morning after its active Saturday.
Crews will continue to build a fuel-free containment line off of 238 Road.
BCWS has been receiving donations from supportive local communities but stated that appreciative community members can forward their support to evacuees in need.
"While the BC Wildfire Service appreciates the support from the local communities, we are unable to accept or facilitate donations at the Fraser Lake fire camp. Instead please consider donating to groups supporting wildfire evacuees in affected areas."
There are 64 firefighters, 11 pieces of heavy equipment and eight helicopters on the fire with 45 support personnel, eight helicopters and 17 Structural Protection Specialists being shared between the Island Lake and Shovel Lake wildfires.
An Evacuation Order remains in effect as shown below.
(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 10:15 p.m.) - BCWS has confirmed there has been a bit of growth on the south side of the fire and will be responded to with night actioning of the fire with equipment in an attempt to curtail the blaze when it is less active.
Despite the bit of expansion, BCWS says that it has not seen a significant increase in the last 24 to 36 hours and the added resources are assisting in calming the fire.
(UPDATE: Aug. 18 @ 8:10 a.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire is still considered to be 14,864 hectares.
Despite increased fire behaviour due to strong winds, containment lines were held and perimeter growth was minimal. Heavy equipment worked on building guard throughout the night.
The forecast is calling of light and variable winds today, mainly for the south and southwest, with some light gusts this afternoon.
An additional 40 firefighters were assigned to the fire yesterday. In total, 60 firefighters, eight helicopters and 37 pieces of heavy equipment are on scene.
There are also 45 support personnel, eight helicopters and 17 structural staff being shared amongst all complex fires including the Island Lake fire. The resources will be deployed as necessary.
(UPDATE: Aug. 17 @ 9 p.m.) - Clear skies above the Island Lake wildfire are expecting to see smoke from the 14,864-hectare wildfire, reports BCWS.
Heavy equipment is building guard on the area and has a night shift in place in order to push in guard lines.
Guard construction in the east and on 200 Road is continuing as is assessing values for structural protection in the area and on the lakeshore.
The fire has moved around the south side of Anzus Lake and crews are working to tie the progression into the former Binta Fire burn scar from the 2010 wildfire season.
There was a heavy increase in resources, adding another 17 firefighters and 11 units of heavy equipment from the resources enlisted earlier Friday morning.
Friday has 32 firefighters, eight helicopters and 37 units of heavy equipment on the fire in total, as well as support from 37 support personnel, eight helicopters and 17 structural staff being divided between all the fires in the complex.
An Evacuation Alert and an Evacuation Order issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako on Monday remains in effect as shown below.
(UPDATE: August 17 @ 9:50 a.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire has not seen any significant growth and is still estimated to be 14,862 hectares.
Winds have remained fairly calm despite forecasts calling for afternoon gusts yesterday.
Visibility was extremely poor which hindered BC Wildfire Services from using aircrafts to support ground crews. Today, crews will continue expanding guard lines.
There are 15 firefighters, eight helicopters and 26 pieces of heavy equipment on scene today.
(UPDATE: August 16 @ 12 p.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire is now considered to be 14,862 hectares.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire is moving towards the south shore of Francois Lake near the eastern side of the lake. Crews will be working in the areas of increased activity to build guard.
Although the fire is holding on the east side, it has moved around the south side of Anzus Lake.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Today, there are 15 firefighters, eight helicopters and 26 pieces of heavy equipment on scene.
(UPDATE: August 14 @ 10 a.m.) - The Island Lake Wildfire is now estimated to be 13,000 hectares.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire continues to show no growth. As of now, the west flank guard is complete and the east flank lake to swamp is holding.
Today, there are seven firefighters and 15 pieces of heavy equipment on scene.
(UPDATE: August 11 @ 1:15 p.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire is estimated to be 11,300 hectares.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire did not show any additional growth yesterday.
A small burn-out operation was successfully conducted yesterday on the eastern flank in order to remove pockets of heavy fuel intended to reduce fire growth.
Today’s crews will continue working on establishing contingency guard along the east and west.
As of now, there are eight firefighters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment on scene with an additional 37 support personnel and 16 helicopters that will be used in the areas of highest risk.
(UPDATE: August 10. @ 10 a.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire saw extremely vigorous surface fire and active crown fire (rank 5) that challenged containment efforts.
It is now estimated to be 9,000 hectares.
Heavy equipment will continue to work on installing a control line while crews will work on watching and suppressing any potential fire spotting.
According to BC Wildfire Service, structures are in the vicinity of the fire.
As of Aug. 7, the Bulkley Nechako Regional District has expanded their evacuation order.
Today there are 14 firefighters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment on scene with an additional 37 support personnel and 16 helicopters that will be used in the areas of highest risk.
(UPDATE: August 9 @ 9:15 a.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire is now considered to be 7,500 hectares.
Yesterday, the fire saw extremely vigorous surface fire and active crown fire that challenged containment efforts. The fire has now reached the shoreline of Francois Lake Provincial Park as well as the marsh area in the east.
Properties continue to be assessed for structural protection units and sprinklers have been set up on some structures in the area. Heavy equipment will continue working on installing a control line.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire is 10% contained.
Today, there are 20 firefighters and 20 pieces of heavy equipment in addition to 37 support personnel and 16 helicopters that are shared amongst all complex fires. The additional support will be used in areas with the highest risk.
(UPDATE: August 8 @ 8:05 a.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire is estimated to be 7,000 hectares.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire took a 15 km run to the east yesterday and is currently burning above the west of Nithi River drainage.
An air tanker has been requested this morning to help with the fire.
Crews will be working on establishing guard on the Dahlgren Road and along the 200 Road along the south flank of the fire.
Today, there are 24 firefighters, 14 helicopters, 14 pieces of heavy equipment and 39 support staff on scene.
The fire is considered to be 10% contained.
(UPDATE: August 4 @ 2 p.m.) - The Island Lake wildfire is still estimated to be 800 hectares.
Crews are working to set up structural protection and construct guard along the southern flank.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the weather was more cooperative yesterday which allowed crews to conduct burn-off operations.
Today there are eight firefighters, two helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment on scene.
(Original story: August 3) - A wildfire burning adjacent to Island Lake is burning at 800 hectares.
The exact cause of this wildfire that started on Aug. 1, is still under investigation.
According to BC Wildfire Service, the fire grew rapidly since yesterday with air tankers and helicopters attempting to gain control through bucketing activities.
Crews are working to set up structural protection on value structures in the area and construct guard along the southern flank.
The Bulkley Nechako Regional District has issued an evacuation order and alert for different areas.
As of today, there are 11 firefighters and nine pieces of heavy equipment on scene.
NowMedia will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.