Return of hot, windy conditions expected to spur growth of wildfires

By Jill Sperling
August 15, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: August 15, 2017 - 5:36pm

KAMLOOPS — While the last few days have provided a bit of a reprieve on the front lines of the B.C. wildfires, the relative calm is not expected to last. 

Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek said there was some rain over the weekend, and calm, cool condition have limited fire growth. 

However, the forecast is calling for hot and dry conditions to return, with the wind picking up on the weekend. 

Skrepnek said an estimated 845,000 hectares have burned across the province.

The largest fire is the Hanceville-Riske Creek complex, burning at a size of more than 200,000 hectares.

The Elephant Hill Wildfire, which is burning approximately 50 km west of Kamloops has held steady at 168,000 hectares over the past 24 hours, but Skrepnek said there is growth potential to the east and north of its current boundary. 

"Certainly lots of fuel there for it to continue burning, certainly with the weather and the wind that we typically get in that area, definitely potential for it to continue," Skrepnek said. "Huge effort going into it right now, over 600 firefighters on that fire alone, making progress wherever they can, but the wind in that area, the terrain, definitely going to be a challenge going forward." 

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