Officials say it is a critical period for the Battleship Mountain wildfire. Firefighters are continuing to reinforce containment lines before the winds shift later this week.

The fire is now nearly 30,000 hectares in size. The east flank is just 8km from the District of Hudson’s Hope, and 4km from the WAC Bennett Dam. An infrared scan was conducted Tuesday evening to give a clearer picture of the fire’s size and location.

The BC Wildfire Service says the fire’s aggressive behavior has picked up slightly today due to the warm temperatures and volatile airflows in the area. Over the next several days, the winds are also expected to shift and begin blowing in from the north.

Today, the Service has 18 people with heavy equipment working on the south flank. Crews are also reinforcing containment lines on the east flank, conducting ignition operations along the Gething Forest Service Road and towards the Johnson Forest Service Road where conditions allow.

The good news is that no structures have been lost to the fire yet. 58 structure protection personnel are working in the area testing sprinkler and water delivery systems. Teams will be creating plans for several different scenarios, which they will put into action if needed and depending on how the fire behaves in the coming days.

Smoke from the Battleship Mountain fire has prompted Environment Canada to issue an air quality advisory for the North and South Peace Regions. People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections including COVID-19, as well as older adults, children, and pregnant women are more likely to experience adverse health effects from smoke exposure.