Wildfire state of emergency likely to end this week

By Greg Fry
September 13, 2017 - 1:48pm

KAMLOOPS — It looks like the provincial state of emergency in British Columbia sparked by this summer's devastating wildfires is coming to a close.

Chris Duffy, executive director of operations with Emergency Management BC, made the comments Wednesday afternoon.

"We'll see a reduction in operation levels by the end of the week," he said. "It's Day 137 for operational staff so it's been a long season."

Pressed for extra details, Duffy said he expected the state of emergency "to be lifted by the end of day Friday."

So, what does that mean for the hundreds of soldiers stationed in B.C. helping out with the wildfire effort?

"With respect to redeployment, we'll take our lead from the Province," said Maj. Jeff Allen with the Canadian Armed Forces. "We'll be working on that plan over the next few days."

The change in provincial tactics has been made possible by a turn in weather conditions in B.C. This despite the fact 155 fires continue to burn, including the Lamb Creek fire in the East Kootenays which remains a major concern.

Kevin Skrepnek, chief fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said crews continue to make good progress on the Elephant Hill fire, the blaze of most concern to Kamloops residents.

"It's still 192,000 hectares and 60 per cent contained. There are 400 personnel activity engaged on it but cooler temperatures and higher humidity have made it less volatile."

 

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