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October 27, 2017 4:06 pm

Watching the Weather for Break in Wildfire Behaviour

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 @ 2:10 PM

Prince George, B.C.- Twenty  new fires were sparked in B.C. yesterday, bring the  total  of current wildfires burning across the province of B.C.  to 150 .“Most of the new fires  yesterday were the result of lightning activity, particularly in the south east  part of the province in the Kootenays” says Chief Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Service Kevin Skrepnek.  He says the rapid response to those new fires, meant they were handled  quickly and  not allowed to  grow.

But  while there are  thousands of  people  working  on battling the fires,  the weather  can make  a big difference,  and Skrepnek says there is a “bit of  a shift” expected this weekend.  “Friday is when we gt to see a bit of a shift,  we are going to s a shift to  inflow  winds which should reduce some of the smoke concerns in parts of the province. ”

While there is a potential for rain on the  weekend,  “Unfortunately with this shift,  we are going to see some fairly  wide spread thundershowers” says Skrepnek and while   rain  would be welcome, the  lightning  is not.

Along with  possible lightning ,  there may also be gusty winds,  “So weather as a help  or a hindrance remains to be seen” says Skrepnek.

The Elephant Hill fire  is 30%contained,  and is estimated to be  117 thousand hectares in size.  There are  462 firefighters,  an incident management team,  89  structural  protection personnel 87 support  staff,  27 helicopters and 105  pieces of heavy equipment   working on trying to bring that fire under control.

Skrepnek has  repeated  his  call for the public to be extra cautious “When we see the increase in lightning caused fires,  it just further emphasizes the fact that every human caused fire is a preventable fire and every  human caused fire that we have to respond to  is diverting critical resources away from any naturally occurring incidents.”



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