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

RCMP investigate mailbox theft in Qualicum Beach area

Four rural community boxes pried open overnight Dec. 12

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

RDN to proceed with Bowser Wastewater Project

Board endorse plan to work on design, tendering and construction of the sewer system

Motion to recognize First Nations at Qualicum Beach meetings deferred

Town council, staff to consult with Qualicum First Nation on formal recognition

Parksville-Qualicum home prices skyrocket

Benchmark price jumps 16 per cent in Parksville Qualicum Beach

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

Guests invited to free Christmas dinner in Qualicum Beach

Christian Fellowship Centre hosts 20th annual feast

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

SPCA seizes 74 animals from Barriere property

Constables removed sheep, piglets, chickens and more

Penticton addiction recovery centre plan halted by neighbours

Recovery centre operator said neighbours bought property ‘in haste’

Reservations to be needed year-round at Garibaldi Park

Change will go into effect Jan. 2 to protest environment from overuse

Most Read