Massive fires in northwest B.C. merge

By Greg Fry
August 9, 2018 - 10:57am

KAMLOOPS — Hundreds of wildfires continue to rage in B.C. - including the largest blaze in northwest B.C.

"The biggest area of concern is the wildfire situation in the Northwest Fire Centre," says BC Wildfire Service Fire Information Officer Ryan Turcot. "As of last night, the South Stikine River wildfire merged with the Alkali Lake wildfire. So, the combined size of these two wildfires is estimated at just under 30,000 hectares in size."

The fires forced the evacuation of the community of Telegraph Creek earlier this week and was also responsible for destroying over two dozen structures.

Province-wide, Turcot says there are 476 wildfires burning in B.C., including 39 new fire starts on Wednesday.

"The majority of the new starts were in the Prince George and Cariboo fire centres and lighting appeared to be the major driver although three are suspected to be human-caused."

He says the Snowy Mountain wildfire, just south of Keremeos, remains at just over 12,000 hectares in size and 40 per cent contained.

"Crews are out working on it today on the south flank where a burn-off operation took place yesterday for the purpose of removing fuels from slopes adjacent to properties in order to halt forward progression of the fire."

Heading into the weekend, Turcot expects a bit of a weather breakdown in southern B.C., though not much of a reprieve. Up north, an increase in temperatures. Then next week a return to hot and dry conditions.

There are currently over 3,000 wildfire personnel fighting the fires including 1,200 contractors and 160 people from out-of-province.

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