Watching the Weather for Break in Wildfire Behaviour
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.”