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Winds bring new life to Peacock Creek fire

More smoke visible as more material burns
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High winds early last week sparked a resurgence of the Peacock Creek fire south of Houston. (Houston Today photo)

High winds early last week brought on a resurgence of the Peacock Creek fire south of Houston as significant smoke once again could be seen rising into the sky.

B.C. Wildfire officials said, however, the fire front was heading east and was not threatening structures or the community.

The winds beginning Aug. 15 were accompanied by high temperatures and low humidity, resulting in what wildfire officials called an “organized flame front with a moderate rate of spread.”

The fire has been classified as out of control since its start Aug. 7 and crews had been working in the area first to suppress it and then to construct a fireguard around it.

Late last week the wildfire service had 21 people at the location who were being assisted by aircraft and helicopters.

Members of the public remain being prohibited from around the Peacock fire area so as not to get in the way of firefighters.

Officials said fires could be expected from pockets of unburned material located within areas where fire guards have been built.

As of late last week, the Parrot Lookout fire and the Old Man Lake fire were both classified as being under control. Further away, the Andrews Bay and Tekaiziyis Ridge fires were classified as being held, the wildfire service’s description of a fire that will not spread further.

The large Tintagel fire, east of Burns Lake, is also described as being held.

The resurgence of the Peacock fire caused District of Houston councillor Tom Stringfellow to express his disappointment at how it was being fought.

“I’m disappointed the fire we still have burning. And I know I probably don’t know all the facts but it’s just disappointing to see that, you know, they couldn’t have anybody on it,” he said at council’s Aug. 15 meeting.

He felt authorities were not prepared to deal with wildfires and as an example noted that the province was bringing in firefighters from other countries.

Stringfellow wondered if council wanted to write a letter or prepare a resolution for discussion when local governments meet at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

Mayor Shane Brienen then noted that firefighters have had to deal with difficult terrain in and around the Peacock Creek fire area.

“They continue to have people in there working around the perimeter,” he said, adding that crews will be on scene into the winter season.