Damage from the Hanceville-Riske Creek fire is extensive along Highway 20, which remains closed around Kleena Kleene. (Monica Lamb-Yorski/Williams Lake Tribune)

VIDEO: Cariboo backcountry ban lifted as risk eases

Campfires allowed again in Prince George, Northwest districts

With progress being made to contain the largest fires burning in the Interior, B.C. Wildfire Service officials have lifted the campfire ban for most of northern B.C. and removed the backcountry access ban for the Cariboo region.

Campfire bans remain in the Vanderhoof Forest District, and the Nadina Forest District including Houston, Burns Lake and Granisle west of Prince George. Local fire departments should be consulted on their own restrictions, said Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the service.

Fires bigger than half a metre square remain off limits across the province, and the off-road vehicle ban remains in place for the Cariboo.

The backcountry ban for the Cariboo region “was a pretty extraordinary move,” Skrepnek said. “People were literally not allowed to use lakes, recreational use was not allowed.”

Buffer zones around existing fires in the Cariboo will be kept off limits until they are safe.

Conditions also have improved in the southeast region, with an evacuation order near Salmo downgraded to an alert and Highway 6 reopened from Nelway to Highway 3.

Skrepnek said while Kootenay conditions are mainly stable or improving with 39 fires in the southeast region, a fire on the U.S. side of the border is being watched closely. It is burning about 20 km south of the U.S. border near the Montana community of Newgate, near Lake Koocanusa.

WATCH: Aerials of wildfire damage in B.C.’s Kootenay National Park

The largest fires continue to be those sparked by a single dry lightning storm that passed through the Fraser Canyon and Cariboo region July 6. The Plateau fire, a combined name for what was 19 fires burning west of Quesnel and northwest of Williams Lake, was at 4,647 square km as of Wednesday and remains the largest fire on record for B.C.

The Elephant Hill fire near Ashcroft was estimated at 1,660 square km and also remained stable, 35 per cent contained as hundreds of firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment work on guard areas to prevent spreading.

Just Posted

Parksville water project seeks new manager

City operations manager moving to new job with RDN

Workers evacuated due to gas smell in Parksville

Firefighters, Fortis unable to find source, and workers back to work

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Qualicum Beach makes list of top places to visit in 2018

Expedia Canada surveyed 1,000 Canadians for the list

Lifestyle change key to keeping off pounds

Pharmasave Parksville aids UBC clinical study helping sufferers of Type 2 diabetes

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

Most Read