A Canadian Armed Forces Flight Engineer surveys the wildfires burning in British Columbia during a reconnaissance flight from a CH-147 Chinook during Operation LENTUS 17-04 in Kamloops British Columbia, on 12 July 2017. (Province of British Columbia)

B.C. wildfire crews prepare for windy weekend

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold front Saturday afternoon

With 167 fires burning across B.C. Friday afternoon, fire crews are looking to prepare for winds across the central and southern Interior this weekend.

There remain 22 wildfires of note, with 14 of those classified as interface fires, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said. So far, 114,000 hectares of land have been burned, equating to $73 million in costs as 3,000 personnel help battle the blazes.

RELATED: Evacuation alert means ‘get ready to leave’

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold front Saturday afternoon, bringing windy conditions throughout southern B.C. Lightning is also forecasted near Fort St. John.

“As for the wind, we’re especially concerned in what that’s going to entail,” Skrepnek said.

The Chilcotin region, near Williams Lake, stands as the largest fire – made up of several smaller fires – at 40,000 hectares in size.

Efforts to prepare for the winds include controlled burns at areas around 100 Mile as well as White Lake in Williams Lake – the fire posing the most threat to the city. Controlled burns allow for the fuel to burn in a controlled setting before fires potentially move to the areas, due to wind.

Meanwhile, Skrepnek discouraged people entering the backcountry.

“When it is this hot and dry, with the winds in the forecast, too, it just makes everything more volatile,” he said, encouraging people to stay out of the backcountry.

As of 2 p.m. July 14, wildfires of note sit at:

Ashcroft Reserve– 11,500 ha

Princeton – 2,700 ha, 10 per cent contained

Gustafsen – 5,000 ha, 20 per cent contained

Wildwood – 2,500 ha, 40 per cent contained

Chilcotin complex (multiple fires) – 40,000 ha

Little Fort east – 1,400 ha, 20 per cent contained

Litte Fort west – 450 ha, 40 per cent contained

Just Posted

School board rejects adding trustees

Support lacking to expand West Kelowna/Kelowna representation

Sustainable growth: Time to stop trashing environment

Regenerative capitalist Hunter Lovins offers economic insights at Kelowna conference

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

New safety doors aim to protect transit drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Death and fire not treated as suspicious

RCMP has turned the invesigation of Monday’s fire on Gaggin Road over to the BC Coroners Service

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Penticton Indian Band selects five new councillors

PIB aiming for internal reconciliation after by-election

Chiefs ground Rockets in Spokane

Former Rockets’ head coach Dan Lambert leads his Chiefs past Kelowna Wednesday in WHL action

Letter: Deer cull the only practical solution

Kelowna letter writer says deer are thriving because their natural predators are gone

Feedback: Proportional representation threatens Liberals

Comments from kelownacapnews.com and the Capital News’ Facebook page

Editorial: Kids living in poverty—believe it

A new report puts the spotlight on a hidden problem that is prevalent in Kelowna

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

Two types of civic engagement in PIB

Some voted in the byelection, others protested the polls, as Penticton Indian Band fissures continue

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Most Read