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

Mary Poppins flies to Lake City Secondary stage Tuesday

‘Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious’ play acted by Sr. Drama Class

Williams Lake eyed for junior ‘A’ hockey expansion

The WSHL appears to have interest in establishing a junior ‘A’ expansion team in Williams Lake.

New chief for Alexis Creek First Nation

After serving 14 years on band council, Otis Guichon Sr. has been elected chief of his community west of Williams Lake.

Enrolment numbers up at TRU Williams Lake

More domestic students are taking courses at the university in Williams Lake

Chilcotin receives large dump of snow

The snowstorm that fell in B.C. over the weekend also impacted areas in the Chilcotin

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Most Read