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October 27, 2017 3:57 pm

Record Breaking Fire Season

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 1:39 PM

Prince George, B.C.- Although more accurate mapping  could see some fluctuation in  numbers,  the 2017 wildfire season has  seen 894,491 hectares burned,  the worst  on record in B.C. 

The previous  record for hectares burned, dates back to 1958.  During that season, 855 thousand hectares  were  burned. Chief Information Officer for the BC Wildfire Service , Kevin Skrepnek says  the numbers for 2017  are expected to climb even higher “Given what  we have already seen and how much active fire we have out there,  it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that number is going to continue to climb.”

The fire season in B.C.  still has several  difficult weeks ahead,  and this  weekend could pose more significant challenges as  gusty winds and  possible dry lightning are predicted  for the Cariboo region.

“One silver lining to the weather  we are seeing right now, is,  we don’t anticipate  a return of that massive ridge of high pressure” says  Skrepnek.  He says  more seasonal  temperatures are expected “Having said that, the presence of wind and the lack of rain are going to be much  more critical factors and unfortunately, on those two issues,  we are really  not seeing any relief in the outlook right now.”

Skrepnek says the  rain over the past  couple of days in a number of areas  has “calmed things down,  but  in all likelihood, these fires are going to flare back up as soon as the wind increases and  once what little rain did come, dries out.”

There is some good news,  highway 97 has been fully  opened,  and Highway 20 has been reopened in the Riske Creek area.

While there have been some evacuation orders and alerts rescinded over the past  24 hours,  there are still some 6,000 people on evacuation order, a further 20 thousand to 22 thousand remain on evacuation alert.



Well, if we don’t get some cleanup and firebreaks built around our town
it could be us this year yet, or the next couple. Hope they look at it.

Would like to see the numbers on how much marketable timber was burnt this year versus 1958. The number of hectares burnt doesn’t give a complete picture.

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