Wildfire officials warn busy season still to come

By Pete McIntyre
July 25, 2017 - 5:52pm

VERNON, B.C. — Officials are urging the public to remain careful as the weather heats up — and the fire danger rises.

Kevin Skrepnek from the BC Wildfire Service says while fire activity has decreased the last few days, it remains very dry and volatile.

“We just urge the public to remain vigilant, given that we are entering a period in late July. This is typically when our busiest period kicks off. Of course, we’ve already had an almost unprecedented July already,” says Skrepnek.

There are 154 fires burning in BC, with 12 new starts on Monday.

“We’re looking at a return to fairly significant winds across most of southern BC, and also the potential for lightning in many areas, and in some cases, that could be dry lightning, which has been a key factor in igniting many fires over the last month,” says Skrepnek.

Just over 19-thousand people remain evacuated due to fires.

There has been no further update today on when Williams Lake residents may be able to return home.

Major Jeff Allen says hundreds of soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces are helping the  RCMP in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

The military members are providing assistance at observation and reporting posts, and other tasks.

“The resulting size of the Land Task Force Pacific is 298 soldiers, with 238 from Edmonton based units, 37 Canadian Rangers, and 33 reserve soldiers from 39 Canadian brigade groups,” says Allen.

Allen says the overall strength has risen to 450 soldiers and airmen deployed in the field.

Last ditch effort Thursday to avoid strike at Highland Valley Copper