(Facebook/BC Wildfire Service)

Hot and dry long weekend concerns BC Wildfire crews

Temperatures are forecasted to be unseasonably warm this weekend with highs into the 30’s for many areas.

  • Sep. 1, 2017 1:15 p.m.

Another 22 new wildfires sprung up yesterday, bringing the current total to 161 fires burning throughout B.C. at this time.

With temperatures expected to rise into the 30’s during the Labour Day long weekend, crews with the BC Wildfire Service believe the low humidity, coupled with hot and dry conditions, could present significant challenges.

“The weather is going to be potentially unprecedented for September,” said Kevin Skrepnek, the Province’s Chief Wildfire Information officer.

Environment Canada has already issued weather alerts for much of the province, and the major fire centres — Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast — will remain very dry.

RELATED: Campers urged to stay home this long weekend

Temperature records are expected to fall between Sunday and Wednesday of next week, further adding to

Since April 1, there have been 1,181 fires that have burned through roughly 1,080,941 hectares. This has cost the BC Wildfire Service $435.1 million and doesn’t include costs accrued by all the other countless agencies helping out this summer.

State of emergency extended

The provincial state of emergency has also been formally extended again, through the end of day on Sept. 15, 2017. This is the fourth time since it was initially enacted on July 19, and already the longest in the province’s history since 2003.

It will continue to apply to the whole province and ensures that federal, provincial and local resources are delivered in a co-ordinated response, while ensuring public safety remains a top priority.

The Province will continue providing financial support to evacuees in the form of $600-per-household funding, renewed every 14 days until evacuees return home. Eligible small businesses can also receive a $1,500 emergency grant through the Canadian Red Cross and Province.

As of Friday morning, there were 16 evacuation orders for 3,600 people and another 39 evacuation alerts that could potentially affect nearly 14,000 residents.

Anyone seeking additional information on Emergency Social Services can call 1-800-585-5995 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Fires of note

  • Diamond Creek fire in B.C.’s southern interior near the US border is currently 4,000 hectares in size.
  • Philpott Road fire east of Kelowna is currently 465 hectares and 30 per cent contained.
  • Plateau fire in the North Chilcotin is 493,000 hectares and has been cut in half.
  • Risky Creek fire near Williams Lake is 238,445 hectares and 35 per cent contained.
  • Elephant Hill fire near Cache Creek is 186,000 and 50 per cent contained.

More information can be found at:

BC Wildfire.ca

BC Parks.ca

DriveBC.ca

Camping Sites and Trails.ca

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