Frefighter lights a backburn during operations in the Southern Interior. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

Wildfire threat eases, light rain expected Thursday

Only four new starts Tuesday as B.C. Interior battle continues

The B.C. Wildfire Service has a total of 140 fires on its active map as of Wednesday, and is making progress containing some of the larger fires that threaten communities.

The fire total is down from previous weeks, with only four new starts reported Tuesday.

“That’s certainly a lower number than we’ve seen in the last week or week and a half, so that’s certainly welcome, but there is definitely still a lot of active fire on the landscape,” said Kevin Skrepnek of the B.C. Wildfire Service in an update Wednesday afternoon.

Rain showers are expected across southern B.C. Thursday, but B.C. Wildfire Service officials aren’t getting their hopes up that it will ease the situation as hot weather is expected to return for the weekend.

There are 35,800 people registered with the Red Cross as evacuees as of Wednesday, said Robert Turner with Emergency Management B.C.

The B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency, due to expire Friday at midnight, for an additional two weeks. That means people who are still on evacuation and registered with the Red Cross are eligible for a second payment of $600 per household for each two weeks they remain out of their homes.

RELATED: State of emergency, evacuee funding extended

RELATED: Forest firefighters threatened with gun

The evacuation order for Cache Creek was downgraded to an alert Tuesday to allow people to return, but there are still restrictions on entry to the firefighting area, Skrepnek said. Cache Creek residents are cleaning fire retardant from some buildings, which is similar to fertilizer once dried and washes off with water and mild detergent.

The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire complex, southwest of Williams Lake, still had no containment as of Wednesday, but Skrepnek said heavy equipment was making good progress building fuel-free barriers to the north and northwest. It was estimated at 1,250 square kilometres.

The White Lake fire, which jumped the Fraser River Saturday and triggered the evacuation of Williams Lake due to concern about road access, was 10 per cent contained as of Wednesday and estimated at 81 square kilometres. That’s down from the previous estimate of 120 square kilometres, mostly due to more accurate mapping after smoke cleared, Skrepnek said.

The Elephant Hill fire, formerly called the Ashcroft Reserve fire, was estimated at 526 square kilometres, and 30 per cent contained.

Just Posted

West Kelowna to stick with regional transportation planning

City council votes to rescind its move to leave regional planning body

Vernon at centre of rail trails convergence

More local development input sought for Okanagan and North Okanagan/Shuswap rail trails

Keeping pets safe at Christmas

This time of year presents a lot of possible health hazards for our pets

UBCO researchers find link between methane and Amazon rainforest

It turns out that trees in the Amazonian floodplain act as “chimneys,” according to a researcher

Kelowna Gospel Mission creates more meals with new slicer

The slicer was donated by the Morningside Rotary Club

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Flag person’s death shines light on dangers

Company calls for more awareness of and respect for flaggers

Rockets fall in Swift Current for third straight loss

The Broncos score the game’s first five goals in Kelowna’s fourth game of six-game eastern trip

Star gazing: Mars – the Red Planet

Mars is part of our culture, currently of extreme scientific interest, and sufficiently like Earth

Kelowna auto dealer revs up KGH building project with big donation

Kelowna Toyota has donated $30,000 to help build JoeAnna’s House on hospital grounds

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Most Read