The Plateau wildfire in August 2017 is considered to be the largest ever recorded in British Columbia history. Photo: B.C. Wildfire Management

By Mike Laanela and Brady Strachan
Aug 22, 2017

(CBC News) – Hundreds of firefighters and dozens of aircraft are working to contain the largest wildfire ever recorded in British Columbia's history.

Nineteen wildfires have merged in the province's Interior, creating a single blaze that's estimated to be more than 467,000 hectares [1.15 million acres] in size, according to fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek with the B.C. Wildfire Service.

The massive Plateau fire, which stretches 130 kilometres from one end to the other, is located on the Chilcotin Plateau, 60 kilometres west of Quesnel and 60 kilometres northwest of Williams Lake.

Skrepnek says crews are making good progress on the fire, but because of its size, it's expected to continue burning for some time.

"Just given the sheer scale of this fire, you know it is going to be active for some time to come and it's going to be quite some time before we would be even close to calling it contained or calling it under control."

The fire was created by the merging of the Chezacut, Tautri, Bishop's Bluff, Baezaeko, Wentworth Creek, Arc Mountain, and other wildfires. The first of those was discovered on July 7 and the cause is listed as "under investigation."

It is now so big the wildfire management branch has set up two incident command teams at the northern and southern ends to co-ordinate the firefighting efforts of more than 400 firefighters, 25 helicopters and dozens of pieces of heavy equipment.

Previously, the biggest wildfire in B.C. history was a 220,000 hectare blaze that burned in the northeastern part of the province in 1958. [more]

Hundreds of firefighters battling largest wildfire ever recorded in B.C.

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