There are 50 active fires burning in B.C. as of Wednesday (Aug. 10) morning, down five from the day before.
The majority of them are confined to the southern half of the province, a trend BC Wildfire Service says is normal for this part of the year as the north starts to see greater precipitation.
Specifically, 17 of the fires are in the southeast, 12 are in the Kamloops area, 10 are around Prince George, six are in the northwest, four are considered coastal, and one is in the Cariboo region.
The majority of the blazes (34) are believed to have been caused by lightning, while eight are attributed to people and the cause of the final eight remains unknown.
Thirteen fires are being held, 13 are considered out of control, and another 13 are under control. Three others are considered new, while eight remain labeled as “fires of note.” These are ones that are particularly visible or pose a potential threat to the public.
Estimated fire size: 6,836 hectares
Location: 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton
Discovered: July 29
Cause: Under investigation
Rainfall on Tuesday paused planned ignitions in the area, but BC Wildfire says it’s hoping to resume them when the weather clears. The ignitions are used to eliminate available fuel (brush, trees, etc.) between where the fire is burning and control lines or barriers crews don’t want it to go beyond.
BC Wildfire says new control lines are holding well. Burning debris continues to fall overnight, but crews are tackling it when it is safe to do so.
The Olalla Creek Forest Service Road is closed. Evacuation orders and alerts remain in place.
A total of 413 firefighters are fighting the blaze, with the assistance of 16 helicopters and 45 pieces of heavy equipment.
Over the coming days and weeks, smoke from the interior of the #Keremeos Creek wildfire (K50863) will remain visible. Crews will continue to patrol and mop up the perimeter of the fire where containment has been established. #BCWildfire pic.twitter.com/CX3Y57ONMd— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 10, 2022
Estimated fire size: 1,004 hectares
Location: 6 kilometres northeast of Pavilion
Discovered: July 31
The wildfire hasn’t seen any growth outside existing perimeters since Aug. 3, but continues to be worked on closely by crews. They’ve used heavy equipment to gain access to the fire and are now building containment lines by connecting roads and cut blocks.
Incoming hot, dry weather could cause an increase in fire behaviour, according to BC Wildfire.
Fifty-nine firefighters are on scene, along with two helicopters and 6 pieces of heavy equipment.
Estimated fire size: 3,745 hectares
Location: 1.7 kilometres northwest of Lytton
Discovered: July 14
Cause: Suspected human
Evacuation orders for the area have been rescinded, but fire activity continues in the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park. Here, BC Wildfire says steep cliffs and rocky terrain have made it extremely difficult for crews to battle the blaze.
The fire’s south, northeast and east flanks remain stable.
It’s being co-managed by Lytton First Nation and BC Parks, with BC Wildfire Service providing support as needed.
Estimated fire size: 270 hectares
Location: 16 kilometres northwest of Kamloops
Discovered: July 29
Cause: Suspected lightning
The wildfire, which hasn’t seen any significant growth since Aug. 2, is now considered as “being held.” It is not expected to spread beyond containment lines, and firefighters will work to extinguish what remains.
It will be removed as a fire of note in the coming days.
There are 78 firefighters on scene, along with four helicopters and two pieces of heavy equipment.
Estimated fire size: 1,679 hectares
Location: 11.5 kilometres west of Kaslo
Discovered: Aug. 1
The fire hasn’t seen significant growth since Aug. 6 and continues to burn within containment lines.
BC Wildfire says as hot and dry conditions continue throughout August, however, some increases in fire activity are expected.
The fire is very visible to people in Kaslo, and may appear closer than it is to the town during evening hours.
Fourteen properties are under evacuation alert and BC Wildfire has issued an area restriction for the region.
There are 22 firefighters and one helicopter on scene.
Estimated fire size: 1,350 hectares
Location: 23 kilometres south of Cranbrook
Discovered: Aug. 1
BC Wildfire says fire behaviour is increasing as temperatures rise and nearby communities are likely to experience smoke.
Crews finished constructing containment lines on Monday and are set to begin aerial planned ignitions on Wednesday at 11 a.m. This will be done with a heli-torch, an attachment suspended from a helicopter and used to ignite fuels in predetermined areas.
An evacuation alert is in effect for six properties in the area, as is an area restriction.
There are 109 firefighters on scene, along with 11 helicopters and 29 pieces of heavy equipment.
Estimated fire size: 52 hectares
Location: 5 kilometres west of Sparwood
Discovered: Aug. 3
The wildfire grew another eight hectares Tuesday, as crews continue to see aggressive activity on the fire’s eastern flank.
The difficult landscape and resulting smoke have made it largely unsafe for ground or air crews to work so far, according to BC Wildfire.
Residents of Sparwood will likely see an influx of firefighting equipment this week, as structure protection personnel begin assessing properties in the area. BC Wildfire says this is being done proactively, and that Sparwood is not under immediate threat.
There are 40 firefighters on scene.
Estimated fire size: 648 hectares
Location: 2 kilometres west of Frozen Lake and 39 kilometres southeast of Baynes Lake
Discovered: Aug. 4
The fire, which spread from the United States into the Flathead Valley in B.C. on Aug. 4, grew larger over Tuesday. On the Canadian side of the border, it increased from 526 to 648 hectares. The overall size is 1,241 hectares.
A structure protection specialist is assessing the area and determining if any resources are needed.