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October 27, 2017 4:43 pm

Gusty Winds Could Complicate Wildfire Battle

Sunday, July 9, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

Prince George, B.C.-Chief Wildfire Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek  says there are now 225 wildfires  active across the province.

Yesterday, just under  100 fires were sparked,   and heavy smoke has made it  difficult to accurately map  the  size of the fires.

“We are expecting more gusty winds today” says Skrepnek  who says those winds can make a difficult situation even more  challenging. He says  he expects  more evacuation alerts and orders  to be issued  in the coming days “The situation is quite fluid.”

“We are expecting further support” says Skrepnek,  who says a request has been made for more than 300 personnel made up of  specialists and fire fighting crews from across the country.  They are  expected to  start arriving this week.

Chris Duffy,  with Emergency Management  B.C. says Canadian Armed Forces assets are  on the way  in the form of three Griffon Helicopters arriving  today,  and larger fixed wing aircraft  coming  in the  next few days. “They will be moved around throughout the province wherever they are  needed.”  The  aircraft would not be involved  directly in fire suppression efforts,  but  more likely  to be  utilized  to help in evacuations or emergency situations.

Duffy says while numbers of evacuees are not yet solid,  but “1800  evacuees from Williams Lake have been registered and sent to Prince George,  a further 1200 have registered at 100 Mile. Overall it might be  about 7 thousand, but that number is fluid.”

Skrepnek says  so far,   it is estimated the fires have  burned 23,697 hectares .  That could change, as   accurate estimates of fires are not  available,  but Skrepnek says he thinks that number  could be  much larger.

The situation is far from over, “We are going to be at the mercy of the weather” says Skrepnek.


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