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October 27, 2017 3:38 pm

No Long Weekend Break for Wildfire Fighters

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 @ 1:53 PM

Prince George, B.C. – The long weekend was anything but relaxing for  the B.C. Wildfire Service with new fires popping up  in the south east.

In particular,  the Finlay Creek fire  near Peachland,  is now 1,000 hectares in size.  “This is an area that has not seen any rain at all  since June 15th” says B.C. Wildfire Service Chief Information Officer, Kevin Skrepnek  “I think that puts it into  perspective on just how dry this summer has been, and that  is what has translated into some of the aggressive fire behaviour we’ve had out there.”

Evacuation alerts and orders are in place  in that area.

There are three fires in the general area of Cranbrook in the east Kootenays.  The Lamb Creek fire ,  about 18 kms southwest of  Cranbrook is  estimated at 1500 hectares in size.  The St. Mary’s river fire   is  about 14 kms northeast of the Cranbrook  and is  estimated at just under 400 hectares in size.   Linklater Creek,  fire which  crossed into Canada from the U.S.  has burned  833 hectares on the Canadian side,  but has burned  a total  of 8200 hectares.

All three of  the  Cranbrook area fires  have  evacuation alerts and/or orders in place.

The Plateau  fire in the Cariboo is  now estimated to be  520,000 hectares.

Hanceville-Riske Creek fire,   now  estimated to be 238 thousand hectares,  and is 50% contained.

Elephant Hill Fire,   is now estimated to be 192 thousand hectares.”This fire certainly did see  a lot of activity over the weekend” says Skrepnek “We had a really volatile situation with the fire heading towards Sheridan Lake on the weekend,  and thanks to a lot of hard work on the ground and a favourable wind shift, we were able to  protect structures in that area.”

There are  162 wildfires burning in the province right now.  Fire suppression costs  since April 1st are now  pegged at $464.6 million dollars  and no  end  in sight  to the  flames.

There are 4,852 people on evacuation order throughout B.C.,  another  15,138 on evacuation alert.


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