The Wentworth Creek fire. (BC Wildfire Service)

B.C. wildfire crews prepare for scorching August

Smoke is expectected to hit the previously untouched south coast this week

B.C. is on the cusp of a heat wave, officials say, with several new and aggressive wildfires reported over the past few days.

The south coast, which has largely escaped the negative effects of the wildfire season, is expected to be hit with smoke on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We have at least a month of this left, if not longer,” chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek told reporters on Monday. “August is historically one of our busiest times.”

READ: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Williams Lake

Skrepnek said potentially gusty winds are expected for the southern part of the province in the coming days. The southeastern portion can expect some dry lightning to ago along with it.

The province is fighting 149 wildfires as of July 31, he added. With 426,000 hectares burned since the start of the fire season, 2017 has shaped up as the third worst season since records began. Only 1958 and 1961 have exceeded it.

twitter.com

Police are investigating Sunday’s Knox Mountain fire, believed to be human-caused. RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau said reports have come of potential suspects and witnesses, but that the investigation is still in its early stages.

“It’s too early to say if this fire could be connected to any other fires in the area,” said Linteau.

One of B.C.’s most aggressive blazes continues to challenge firefighters, Skrepnek said. The Elephant Hill wildfire sits at 78,540 hectares burned, with more than 360 firefighters assigned to the half-contained blaze.

RELATED: “Things went fairly well overnight” on Elephant Hill fire

The wildfire that started on Sunday south of Canal Flats (between Invermere and Cranbook on Hwy. 95) isn’t threatening any homes yet, Skrepnek added, but a cell tower is at risk.

“It’s currently estimated at 150 hectares in size,” said Skrepnek, noting that it has likely grown beyond that now. “It’s generating so much smoke that we aren’t able to get an accurate picture.”

www.twitter.com

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: A cure for anger

We say, “Purge it up, goofballs.”

Kelowna families honour the dead by releasing butterflies

The Nicholson matriarchs release 33 butterflies

Carr’s Landing Art Tour showcases local talent

14th annual tour in Lake Country July 28-29 and Aug. 4-5

The Okanagan Croatian Club all smiles after World Cup loss

They say winning second place brought Croatia to the world stage

East Shuswap Road wildfire’s fire line being controlled

Firefighters saved an eagle’s nest and eaglets while controlling fire lines

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Vernon writers launch online workshop for teens, young adults

Storymakers’ Raise Your Voice workshop seeks to help women writers uncover and use voice

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Your reviews: John Fogerty rocks the South Okanagan

Photos and reviews from fans in Penticton at John Fogerty’s concert in the SOEC

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read