BC Wildfire Service, ‘Watching the Wind’
Prince George, B.C. – A cold front is expected to move through B.C. on Saturday, and that could mean windy conditions which could make current wildfire suppression efforts even more challenging.
Chief Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Service , Kevin Skrepnek says while there may be some thunderstorms in the Cariboo this afternoon, the gusty winds that are expected to accompany those storms, “would outweigh any the positive effects of any rain that comes with those potential thunderstorms.”
The major weather concern, is the outlook for the weekend, “Forecasting a cold front passage to begin on Saturday afternoon that is likely going to bring significant winds across most of southern British Columbia, of course winds have been a huge factor in terms of fire activity over the last few weeks. So that is definitely a cause for concern in challenging some of our efforts out there.”
There are now 16,250 people who have been evacuated across the province, 4,655 are seeking refuge in group lodging at emergency centres in the province, a further 9,429 have found other accommodation.
“We are asking for patience from British Columbians” says Kevin Skrepnek, “It has been an incredibly stressful week for many folks out there.” Skrepnek says there is “A pretty incredible amount of work being done across the province right now, I realize people are anxious to return to normal and return home, but the reality is that is going to take time, given the situation we are in right now.”
In all , there are 188 fires burning in the province, 16 of which are new fires that were reported yesterday. Since the fire season started April 1, there have been 617 fires in B.C., burning 111,000 hectares.
The current status of fires in the Prince George Fire Centre is as follows:
- Sutherland Road: estimated size is 1590 hectares, this fire is 80% contained. An evacuation alert remains in place area restriction order remains in place.
- Grizzly Lake: (Natalsby Lake) west of Little Bobtail is now 100% contained and under control. An evacuation alert remains in place
- Big Ben Creek (Tatuk Lake/ Finger Lake) estimated to be 2,062 hectares and is still out of control An evacuation alert remains in place
Current status of fires in the Cariboo Fire District is as follows:
- Gustafsen: estimated at 5,000 hectares and is 15% contained
- Wildwood: estimated 2,500 and is 40% contained
- Hanceville: estimated 10,000 hectares
- 150 Mile: 2600 hectares, 50% contained
- Green Mountain: 1500 hectares 60% contained