B.C. wildfires to burn into 2018

Many of the largest fires likely won’t be doused until the spring.

A municipal leader in British Columbia’s central Interior predicts wildfires that have chewed through more than 10,600 square kilometres of woodland won’t be fully out until 2018.

Chairman Al Richmond of the Cariboo Regional District said hot spots from many of the largest fires likely won’t be doused until the spring, mirroring the Fort McMurray wildfire that Alberta officials said was finally declared extinguished on Aug. 2.

“It goes down deep into the roots sometimes and then pops up again in the summer,” he said. “That’s not unusual, so I think the forest service felt we will be out dealing with these fires until well into October. And we will probably be back with many hot spots again come spring.”

A small wildfire flared up Friday near Canim Lake, east of 100 Mile House, prompting a tactical evacuation of about 88 properties. There was no formal evacuation order but an alert was in place.

Huge swaths of land that are now just barren stretches of ash-covered ground and charred timber also worry the regional district as it prepares for rain in the fall.

“If we have some rains here, which we will be thankful to have to douse the fires, they could bring a mixed blessing and cause some land slippage too, so it’s not a pretty picture,” said Richmond.

Scores of wildfires burned across British Columbia on Friday. An 1,800 square kilometre straddling the Cariboo and Thompson-Nicola regional districts flared again.

The BC Wildfire Service said the blaze, sparked at the beginning of July near Ashcroft, was 50 per cent contained but recent scorching heat and gusty winds caused the fire to grow.

All available resources, including structural protection crews were sent to the area, the wildfire service said.

In southeastern B.C., an evacuation alert was issued late Thursday for nearly 500 properties about 35 kilometres east of Nelson as a wildfire caused by lightning that broke out in late July grew to 25 square kilometres.

Wildfire service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said a full backcountry closure was not planned over the Labour Day weekend, but the province strongly recommended that people stay out of woods in the critically dry Kamloops, Cariboo and southeast fire centres.

Campfires remain banned in those areas. The BC Conservation Service said its officers issued 37 tickets over the last week to people who violated the order.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Nasty note on windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Most Read