An aerial view of the fire on Beaufort Mountain. PHOTO COURTESY BC WILDFIRE SERVICE

An aerial view of the fire on Beaufort Mountain. PHOTO COURTESY BC WILDFIRE SERVICE

B.C. wildfires 2018: Fire crews battle blazes across the region

There are 2,500 firefighters from B.C. and beyond battling blazes in all B.C. fire centres

More than 2,500 firefighters are struggling against 465 wildfires burning in every part of B.C.

Twenty new fires sparked overnight, with four of those suspected to be caused by people, according to a daily update on Thursday from the BC Wildfire Service.

READ MORE: No B.C. region left untouched with 462 fires burning

READ MORE: Illegal campfires prompt $48,000 in fines over B.C. Day weekend

Since the season started April 1, more than 1,500 fires have started, burning 101,000 hectares of land – larger than the Greater Toronto area. The total cost has reached about $170 million. That’s compared to $564 million spent on last year’s record-breaking season.

Twenty-seven fires remain priorities for crews: eight in the Kamloops and Okanagan areas, four in southeastern B.C., nine in the northwest, three in the Cariboo and one in the coastal fire centre.

Out-of-province firefighters have arrived to help from across Canada, New Zealand, Mexico and Australia.

Although forecasters anticipate Friday will bring cooler temperatures, almost all of the province is at a fire danger rating of high to extreme.

Kamloops and Okanagan region

Snowy Mountain continues to burn largest in the Kamloops Fire Centre at 12,039 hectares. With the weather in crews’ favour, it’s now 40-per-cent contained.

As of Thursday, 106 firefighters and seven pieces of heavy equipment were dedicated to that fire, burning south of Keremeos. More than 860 properties remain on an evacuation alert.

Placer Mountain is also nearly 90-per-cent contained, burning at an estimated 2,375 hectares west of Cathedral Park near Princeton. The fire is in the mop-up stage as the fire smoulders.

Meanwhile, Goode’s Creek fire in Okanagan Mountain Park is considered “held,” as crews continue to patrol and douse hot spots.

The Proctor Road fire northeast of Lumby and Monte Lake is classified as “held,” meaning the BC Wildfire Service does not believe it will grow outside of its current perimeter.

Both fires remain 100 per cent guarded.

An incident management team is moving into control of the Mabel Creek, Sugar Mountain and Proctor Road wildfires burning in the North Okanagan.

Southeast B.C.

There has not been significant lightning in southeastern B.C. over the past few days, but holdover fires continue to be a problem.

“These flare-ups can occur after prolonged hot and dry conditions, paired with wind activity. These types of fires tend to burn aggressively once they flare up,” the BC Wildfire Service said in its update.

Ahead of the Shambhala Music Festival this weekend, fire crews do not anticipate that the wildfires near Nelson will lead to evacuation alerts similar to last year.

The 35-hectare MacArthur Creek fire is about 10 kilometres east of Salmo River Ranch, where the music festival is set to run Friday through Monday.

Meanwhile, Highway 3 between Salmo and Creston remains open despite the 80-hectare Blazed Creek fire that’s just two kilometres north.

The Kootenay wildfire, 1,420 hectares in size is being fought by 120 personnel and 11 helicopters. Highway 93 was partially closed. Parks Canada issued an area closure for Luxor Pass trail, West Kootenay trail and Dolly Varden trail as a precaution.

North of Radium Hot Springs, the 283-hectare Whitetail Creek fire is 40-per-cent contained but still classified as out of control.

Nine properties ave been placed on an evacuation alert because of the Cross River fire, northeast of Radium.

Northwest B.C.

With nine major wildfires burning in the region, the Telegraph Creek fire is still the most devastating. Twenty-seven structures have been lost to the blaze.

After two wildfires merged in the area Wednesday, a total of 28,000 hectares have burned.

Emergency Support Services units have been set up in Dease Lake, Terrace and Smithers.

Other fires in the region include the vigorous surface fire in Verdun Mountain, and the Elbow Lake fire 70 kilometres north of Dease Lake. That fire is classified as out of control.

The Shovel Lake fire, near Burns Lake, is 12,000 hectares. More than 100 firefighters supported by 51 pieces of heavy equipment have been deployed.

READ MORE: Postmen collecting donations for people impacted by Telegraph Creek wildfires

The Island Lake fire, burning in Francois Lake Provincial Park is 7,500 hectares and 10-per-cent contained. Properties continue to be assessed for structural protection units, and sprinklers have been set up on some structures, including those on the south side of Francois Lake.

In Fort Babine, about 100 kilometres north of Smithers, crews have been struggling with wind gusts that have led to an increase in fire activity near Torkelson Lake. Those flames remain out of control.

Cariboo region

Crews have been struggling with harsh winds in the Cariboo region as they battle three major wildfires.

The Wild Goose Lake fire escaped the fire guards Wednesday night and has since grown to 850 hectares in size, as crews work to establish new containment lines.

READ MORE: Three new fires sparked near Quesnel and Wells Aug. 8

West of Shag Creek, the winds stirred up the 900-hectare fire so much that crews had to be pulled until it calms. Nearly 100 properties have been placed under an evacuation order. Residents have been sent to Prince George.

West of Haggens Point, the Horsefly Lake fire is 90-per-cent contained, as 29 firefighters monitor it. Evacuation orders have been rescinded in the area.

Coastal B.C.

The Nanaimo Lakes fire caused the first death this season. A man delivering resources to fire crews Wednesday night died in his truck.

This fire is 179 hectares in size and 25-per-cent contained. The cause is still under investigation.

Fifty-five firefighters, three helicopters and 18 pieces of heavy equipment are working to combat it.

A 50-hectare fire near Hope has closed Skagit Valley Provincial Park. In Agassiz, a fire near Highway 7 remains at 25 hectares.

Prince George region

The Chutanli Lake fire, northeast of Tatelkuz Lake, is 2,862 hectares. Crews retreated from the line on Aug. 7 because of dangerous fire behaviour until further assessment. An evacuation alert is in effect for nearby homes.

Roughly 20 kilometres east of Takla Lake, a 1,600-hectare fire is burning at Purvis Lake. An evacuation order has been been issued for homes from Purvis Lake to Tchentlo Lake.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police seized two fake guns and a knife on Saturday along Gladys Avenue in east Abbotsford.
Man arrested in Abbotsford after having fake gun for second time this year

Officers respond to all firearm calls as if the guns are real, police say

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
UPDATE: Tabor Home records 16 deaths and 124 COVID-19 cases

63 per cent of residents at Abbotsford long-term-care facility have tested positive

Elementary teacher Jo-Ann Lindahl poses with her students following an outdoor ‘closing circle’ in which they discussed what they had learned that day. (Image submitted)
Mission elementary teacher to receive national Indigenous educator award

Jo-Ann Lindahl named a 2020 Guiding the Journey: Educator Award recipient

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:06 a.m.
Early-morning crash on Highway 1 has morning commuters in gridlock

Westbound crash occurred in Langley, west of 264th Street; left lane blocked

Swoop Airlines. (Contributed)
COVID-19 case reported on Abbotsford-bound flight last week

Affected flight landed in Abbotsford on Nov. 16

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Most Read