A photo contributed by Steve Tobias of the fire burning near Princeton.

BREAKING: Princeton fire grows to 2,700 hectares overnight

140 firefighters are deployed to the suppression effort today

The Princeton forest fire mushroomed overnight again and is now estimated at 2,700 hectares.

“On this fire currently we have zero containment and they are working hard to put it out,” said Marg Drysdale, fire information officer onsite for BC Wildfire’s incident management team.

There are 140 firefighters deployed to the suppression effort today, eight helicopters, 14 pieces of heavy equipment and 20 other crew members.

The cause of the fire, previously unreleased, is believed to be human, said Drysdale.

She declined to comment further on the origins of the blaze. “It is suspected human cause and under investigation. We won’t give any kind of cause until after the investigation is completed.”

The fire sparked Friday afternoon about 10 km northeast of town forcing the evacuation of 350 rural homes.

Drysdale could not speculate on the level of the threat to the town proper. “This is a wildfire rural and urban interface. We are dealing with a lot of homes in the area. We can’t foretell what is going to happen…Our people are dealing with a serious fire and they are working hard.”

She said the incident management team has requested a “fire camp” be set up in Princeton, and that may arrive later this week.

“When we get into bringing in a lot of resources what they can do is order up a fire camp and that camp will come in with independent showers, laundry, kitchen facilities. They will set up tents for dining and for our staff and multiple tents for accommodation.”

Help is also on the way in the form of supplies for evacuees from the BC Wildfire Evacuee Support Group. The Desert Park Exhibition Society is also offering barn space at no cost to horse owners in the path of wildfire.

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Helicopters attempt to help control the fire raging through Princeton. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

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