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

B.C. BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

B.C. BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Nuxalk teams enjoy successful standings in 59th All Native Tournament

After seven days of non-stop basketball, the All Native Tournament came to a thrilling finish

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Hydaburg makes it three in a row

Hydaburg came back from 10 points down in the second half to beat Aiyansh

Kitkatla end 54 year drought with title win

The Warriors defeated Hydaburg 70-67 in overtime to win the 2018 All Native Tournament title

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

BC BUDGET: NDP push for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

Hundreds of thousands of new low- and middle-income units coming over three years

B.C. BUDGET: More for wildfire recovery, campsites

NDP government to hire 20 more Conservation Officers this year

B.C. BUDGET: Surpluses predicted for three years

Tax revenues up, ICBC losses weigh heavily on provincial books

Parts of B.C. see record-breaking temperatures in cold snap

Sechelt, Yoho National Park were the chilliest ever Monday

Most Read