No Long Weekend Break for Wildfire Fighters
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.