(Cariboo Wildfires 2017 Information and Safety)

More international help on way to fight B.C. wildfires

Crews arrived from the U.S. last weekend, while 108 personnel from Mexico are on their way

More international fire crews are en route to B.C. to help fight the continuing battle against wildfires in the south and central Interior.

In his daily update on Tuesday, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said 108 personnel from Mexico are set to arrive this week in the province, and about 27 firefighters arrived over the weekend from the U.S.

The BC Wildfire Service put in a request for more help as national support begins to ebb. Skrepnek said other provinces are preparing to deal with their own wildfires. Ontario asked for crews from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan as part of ta cross-border Great Lakes forest fire agreement.

“They’re certainly not new to fighting fires” in this part of the country, Skrepnek said, as some have helped Alberta in previous years.

PHOTOS: Trudeau visits Williams Lake

There have been 840 fires across B.C. since April 1, with 138 active wildfires burning.

As the weather remains status quo of dry and hot, Skrepnek reported that 14 new fires had broken out Monday. Firefighting costs for the 460,000 hectares that have burned so far this season have exceeded $188 million.

The roughly 130 international personnel join close to 4,000 crew members already working across B.C. Of those, 761 are also out of province, while 1,500 are contractors. The ground crews are supported by nearly 200 aircraft.

RELATED: Elephant Hill firefighters make use of northerly winds

The biggest fire and ongoing challenge for crews remains the Elephant Hill fire, near Cache Creek.

Five hundred personnel are focusing on this blaze, which Skrepnek describes as aggressive. It currently stands at 84,000 hectares burned and is still only 30-per-cent contained.

A dedicated tip line was activated for the Elephant Hill fire Monday, as RCMP continue to investigate the cause.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Update: Backhoe used in search of Silver Creek property

RCMP into second day of search of Silver Creek residence/agricultural property

A wrap for Friday

Catch up on a selection of local stories from the past week

Fire in hills above Highway 1

A fire is burning in the hills near Craigellachie

Thunderstorm rolls into town

Both the Okanagan and Shuswap region are anticipating a thunderstorm with strong winds, Thursday.

North Okanagan-Shuswap without power

Some residents in the North Okanagan and Shuswap have been without power since Wednesday

Update: Backhoe used in search of Silver Creek property

RCMP into second day of search of Silver Creek residence/agricultural property

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Recycling pays off for Penticton man

Recycle-It to Win-It contest winner is from Penticton

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

VIDEO: Working with Paul McCartney ‘an out of this world musical experience’

B.C. pipe band member shares memories of recording 1977 U.K. hit ‘Mull of Kintyre’

Most Read