B.C. Wildfire Service says smoke still concern despite fewer blazes

About 481 fires were still active in the province on Thursday, down from 550 blazes mid-season

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia remains an issue even as fewer blazes are burning, a provincial fire official says.

Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer for the B.C. Wildfire Service, said 481 fires were still active in the province on Thursday, down from 550 blazes at the height of the season.

Newer fires are smaller, and cooler weather is helping, he said.

“The worst is definitely over at this point. But there’s still a lot of work that remains to be done. A lot of large fires are still burning.”

The Tweedsmuir complex fire, in the west-central region of B.C., is currently the largest, and is a combination of blazes.

A record-setting 13,000 square kilometres have been charred by wildfires this year, surpassing just over 12,000 square kilometres burned during the 2017 season, when more people were forced from their homes.

A monster blaze near Shovel Lake, which grew to more than 900 square kilometres over the past month, is unlikely to grow any further.

While a forecast of cooler, wetter weather means some campfire bans in effect across British Columbia could soon be lifted, Skrepnek said more rain is critical.

“We need to see that widespread steady rain to hit the reset switch on the situation.”

Environment Canada has forecast several days of rain starting Saturday in Prince George, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Kelowna, and Grand Forks.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fentanyl, cocaine, body armour seized in Vernon suspected ‘dial a dope’ arrests

Five people suspected of being involved in a dial a dope operation arrested

More snow on the way for Okanagan-Shuswap

Up to 5 cm of the white stuff could fall across the Okanagan - Shuswap on Friday

New model looks to increase Vernon Fire Rescue’s service

The pilot project is underway with a goal of improving effectiveness and reducing overtime.

Vernon CMHA ride to end mental health stigma returns

This year’s Ride Don’t Hide event will take place on June 23.

Okanagan college students build insulated doghouses for Vernon SPCA

The five doghouses were built as a part of the hands-on training for students in the Residential Insulator program.

Okanagan kids head to Anaheim with coach Scott Niedermayer

Penticton players are attending Scott Niedermayer’s sweater retirement ceremony

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Strangers chip in to provide support for homeless in Shuswap

Helping one person provides ripple effect many years later

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Science steals spotlight in Vernon kids show

Monster Theatre production looks at complete history of science

Fortis customer shocked by high carbon tax on gas bill

Utility says comparison looks off due flat rate on tax, low cost of gas

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

B.C. man known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ dies making daily trek to his wife

Maple Ridge 85-year-old made visits to New West for 12 years

Most Read