Hanceville fire. (BC Wildfire Service)

B.C. hits 1,003 wildfires in 2017

$285.2 million has been spent fighting fires so far

There have been over 1,000 fires in B.C. this wildfire season, according to fire information officer Ryan Turcott.

Compared to the last 10 years, that number remains low – while 2016 had only 1,050 fires, 2015 had 1,858 and 2009 had 3,064 fires. Fighting the wildfires has cost the province $285.2 million, said Turcott.

RELATED: 550 people affected by Canim Lake evacuation

RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said that officers helped evacuate regions threatened by fires near Canim Lake even before an official evacuation order came down.

“[Those fires] were seen by our members in 100 Mile House who made the tactical decision to conduct a series of evacuations in that area,” said Roberts. “Late last night, increased fire behaviour has resulted in us moving a series of checkpoints in the Quesnel and Alexis Creek area due to fire threat.”

Roberts said that RCMP are on the ground speaking with Shambhala Music Festival organizers. The festival, which is now continuing into Sunday night after having been cancelled on Saturday night, has seen some attendees choosing to leave.

RELATED: Emergency personnel disagree with decision to re-open Shambhala

“The area remains under evacuation alert,” said Roberts. “Evacuation plans remain in place and we’ll be closely monitoring fire activity.”

Ed Miska, executive director of engineering services at the transportation, noted that there is “a robust traffic control” plan in place for Shambhala. Roberts said that so far, all indications are that those leaving are doing so in an orderly fashion.

Miska provided an update on highway closures:

  • Hwy. 6 Nelway border crossing to Hwy. 3 junction
  • Hwy. 20 Riske Creek to Hanceville is closed but open to eastbound evacuees
  • Hwy. 20 Tweedsmuir Lodge to Kleena Kleene closed but open to eastbound evacuees
  • Nazko Road is closed 5-60 kilometres west of Quesnel
  • Hwy. 99 closed from Marble Canyon to Hwy. 97, although pilot car service is available for locals
  • Hwy. 97 closed from Clinton to Chasm only open to northbound evacuees
  • Hwy. 97 closed from Hwy. 99 to Clinton

Miska cautioned drivers to be extra careful driving on even open highways.

“When you’re driving through smoky conditions please slow down and turn on your headlights,” said Miska. “That lets you see better what’s ahead of you but also turns on your taillights so those coming upon you from the rear can make you out better.”

He also warned drivers to watch out for extra wildlife on the roads.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Walk Off The Earth returning to Vancouver Island MusicFest

Juno award-winning group to headline Friday lineup at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds

Comox hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Campbell River Fire Department douses truck fire on Inland Island Highway

A driver pulled over when the engine in his truck started smoking… Continue reading

CVRD addresses odour issues at wastewater treatment plant — again

The Comox Valley Regional District is moving ahead with plans to upgrade… Continue reading

All the colours of the rainbow, in a cloud

Rare phenomenon spotted at Mount Washington

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Mark R. Isfeld club wins international video competition

The Mark R. Isfeld Interact Club has won an international video contest… Continue reading

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read