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

Lake Country seniors receive Christmas surprise

Hampers will be given to 20 lucky seniors in need next week

Big news for Falkland tv show

British Columbia TV show hit 42 + million American households

Lumby ‘elves’ help kids make Christmas magical

Organizers of Elves Shelves say 2017 was their “best year yet”

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Stapley pushes West to finals

Brett Stapley and Canada West are in Saturday’s gold medal game at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge.

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Holiday houses popular at Village Green Hotel

Village Green Hotel gingerbread house display draws a crowd

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Pedestrian hit on Highway 97 in Vernon, across from London Drugs

Emergency vehicles attending to a pedestrian struck on Highway 97 in Vernon… Continue reading

Police issue warrant for Sicamous man

Sheldon Odd wanted for theft under $5,000

Most Read