Hanceville fire. (BC Wildfire Service)

B.C. hits 1,003 wildfires in 2017

$285.2 million has been spent fighting fires so far

There have been over 1,000 fires in B.C. this wildfire season, according to fire information officer Ryan Turcott.

Compared to the last 10 years, that number remains low – while 2016 had only 1,050 fires, 2015 had 1,858 and 2009 had 3,064 fires. Fighting the wildfires has cost the province $285.2 million, said Turcott.

RELATED: 550 people affected by Canim Lake evacuation

RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said that officers helped evacuate regions threatened by fires near Canim Lake even before an official evacuation order came down.

“[Those fires] were seen by our members in 100 Mile House who made the tactical decision to conduct a series of evacuations in that area,” said Roberts. “Late last night, increased fire behaviour has resulted in us moving a series of checkpoints in the Quesnel and Alexis Creek area due to fire threat.”

Roberts said that RCMP are on the ground speaking with Shambhala Music Festival organizers. The festival, which is now continuing into Sunday night after having been cancelled on Saturday night, has seen some attendees choosing to leave.

RELATED: Emergency personnel disagree with decision to re-open Shambhala

“The area remains under evacuation alert,” said Roberts. “Evacuation plans remain in place and we’ll be closely monitoring fire activity.”

Ed Miska, executive director of engineering services at the transportation, noted that there is “a robust traffic control” plan in place for Shambhala. Roberts said that so far, all indications are that those leaving are doing so in an orderly fashion.

Miska provided an update on highway closures:

  • Hwy. 6 Nelway border crossing to Hwy. 3 junction
  • Hwy. 20 Riske Creek to Hanceville is closed but open to eastbound evacuees
  • Hwy. 20 Tweedsmuir Lodge to Kleena Kleene closed but open to eastbound evacuees
  • Nazko Road is closed 5-60 kilometres west of Quesnel
  • Hwy. 99 closed from Marble Canyon to Hwy. 97, although pilot car service is available for locals
  • Hwy. 97 closed from Clinton to Chasm only open to northbound evacuees
  • Hwy. 97 closed from Hwy. 99 to Clinton

Miska cautioned drivers to be extra careful driving on even open highways.

“When you’re driving through smoky conditions please slow down and turn on your headlights,” said Miska. “That lets you see better what’s ahead of you but also turns on your taillights so those coming upon you from the rear can make you out better.”

He also warned drivers to watch out for extra wildlife on the roads.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. man convicted in fatal boat crash awaiting appeal date

Leon Reinbrecht maintains rights breached by delays

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Food truck options to expand in Salmon Arm

City council votes in new food truck regulations

New commercial development coming to council

Liquor outlet and 60-seat restaurant among uses proposed by applicant

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

KIJHL prospects shine in showcase game

Top players for Kootenay and Okanagan conferences put best skate forward.

Challenge issued to ‘Read for 15’

Regional district libraries to compete by asking patrons to read for 15 minutes on Jan. 26 and 27.

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read