B.C. wildfire crews have had a busy week, battling 111 fires in the past seven days.
While a majority of the blazes were small, and quickly extinguished, that brings this year’s total number of wildfires to 365 since April.
Ninety per cent of those fires are out, but 29 are still burning as of Friday (Aug. 7).
The #BCWildfire NW Lima crew teamed up with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation Fire Dept for some physically distanced cross-training last month. TRTFN shared their firefighting knowledge & NW Lima offered training on wildland firefighting equipment. 📸: Matt Brenner #AtlinBC pic.twitter.com/vMwIHddyxq— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 6, 2020
August is the busiest month for wildfires in B.C., due to tinder dry conditions burning through fuel in the ground and dirt while lightning storms wreak havoc on rural and mountainous areas.
So far this year, Kamloops is dealing with the lion’s share of active fires – with 12 currently burning – followed by the Okanagan, where nine are burning.
Officials ordered about 75 homes to evacuate earlier this week after a wildfire sparked along Highway 97 near Penticton. Everyone has been given the green light to return back to their properties.
Meanwhile, a number of properties remain under an evacuation alert northwest of Princeton due to a 21-hectare sized blaze, which has been dubbed the Dry Lake fire.
The wildfire service has urged caution as the pandemic has forced British Columbians to stay closer to home and explore the outdoors this summer. Everyone is being asked to ensure campfires are fully extinguished, smokers should not flick cigarettes onto the ground. Category 2 and 3 open fires are banned in most of B.C.’s southern region.
While roughly 44 per cent of wildfires have been caused by lightning, and roughly 14 per cent caused by humans, 41 per cent are still classified as “unknown.”
The typical number of human-caused fires is about 500 to 600 each year, according to BC Wildfire Service data.
To report a wildfire call *5555 on a cellphone or 1-800-663-5555.
WATCH: Bryan Reid Sr., host of the TV show Timber Kings, offers fire smart tips:
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