B.C. wildfires to burn into 2018

Many of the largest fires likely won’t be doused until the spring.

A municipal leader in British Columbia’s central Interior predicts wildfires that have chewed through more than 10,600 square kilometres of woodland won’t be fully out until 2018.

Chairman Al Richmond of the Cariboo Regional District said hot spots from many of the largest fires likely won’t be doused until the spring, mirroring the Fort McMurray wildfire that Alberta officials said was finally declared extinguished on Aug. 2.

“It goes down deep into the roots sometimes and then pops up again in the summer,” he said. “That’s not unusual, so I think the forest service felt we will be out dealing with these fires until well into October. And we will probably be back with many hot spots again come spring.”

A small wildfire flared up Friday near Canim Lake, east of 100 Mile House, prompting a tactical evacuation of about 88 properties. There was no formal evacuation order but an alert was in place.

Huge swaths of land that are now just barren stretches of ash-covered ground and charred timber also worry the regional district as it prepares for rain in the fall.

“If we have some rains here, which we will be thankful to have to douse the fires, they could bring a mixed blessing and cause some land slippage too, so it’s not a pretty picture,” said Richmond.

Scores of wildfires burned across British Columbia on Friday. An 1,800 square kilometre straddling the Cariboo and Thompson-Nicola regional districts flared again.

The BC Wildfire Service said the blaze, sparked at the beginning of July near Ashcroft, was 50 per cent contained but recent scorching heat and gusty winds caused the fire to grow.

All available resources, including structural protection crews were sent to the area, the wildfire service said.

In southeastern B.C., an evacuation alert was issued late Thursday for nearly 500 properties about 35 kilometres east of Nelson as a wildfire caused by lightning that broke out in late July grew to 25 square kilometres.

Wildfire service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said a full backcountry closure was not planned over the Labour Day weekend, but the province strongly recommended that people stay out of woods in the critically dry Kamloops, Cariboo and southeast fire centres.

Campfires remain banned in those areas. The BC Conservation Service said its officers issued 37 tickets over the last week to people who violated the order.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Clippers win 1 Iron, 2 Bronze, 3 Gold medals at BC champs!

Vanderhoof Clippers Speed Skating Club now the largest club in B.C.

Vanderhoof logging truck driver saves moose calf from snowbank

Local man rescued the calf after it got stuck upside down in the snow

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

“This means more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgery and better care,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

B.C. Family Day to move to third week in February next year

Premier John Horgan said the move is to better align the holiday with businesses and families

B.C. to increase minimum wage to $15.20/hour in 2021

Premier John Horgan says next increase will come in June

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

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

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Most Read