More Wind on the Way
Prince George, B.C.- Yesterday’s predicted wind event did materialize, fanning the flames of the fires in the Cariboo, and there is more wind expected today.
Kevin Skrepnek, the Chief Information Officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service, says the wind did cause significant growth of the Ashcroft Reserve fire which is now estimated to be over 42 thousand hectares in size. It is the largest single fire in the Cariboo.
Skrepnek says more wind is expected today, “We have another challenging situation ahead of us” but the wind today is not expected to be as strong as yesterday’s event. The fires so aggressive at times yesterday , some wildfire service personnel had to be pulled from the area where they were working.
Skrepnek says the focus today is battling the White Lake fire, which is still 7-10 kms outside of Williams Lake. There are 24 helicopters working that fire however, the potential for heavy smoke may hamper air operations today.
In all, there are 162 fires burning in B.C., 16 of them new fires that were sparked yesterday. So far, the flames have consumed an estimated 131 thousand hectares, although that number could be much higher once accurate mapping can take place.
It is estimated there are 36,000 to 37 thousand people who have been forced from their homes and the fire season has yet to reach its peak says Skrepnek “We need to brace ourselves to this being our reality for the coming weeks ahead.”