Fire danger not keeping tourists away from BC interior

By Adam Donnelly
August 9, 2018 - 5:17pm Updated: August 9, 2018 - 7:04pm

KAMLOOPS — With near-record temperatures scorching British Columbia’s landscape today, it’s the perfect time to get to a lake or a river, find some shade, and enjoy the sunshine. But with that sunshine comes an increased risk of wildfire danger, and with more than 470 wildfires burning across the province, CFJC Today went out to a local nearby provincial park to find out if locals and visitors to the region are altering their recreational plans with the thought of wildfire safety in mind.

Jerry Davis was one of the hundreds of campers and day visitors to Lac Le Jeune provincial park Thursday. The Calgarian and his wife spend a large chunk of their summers in BC, enjoying what the province has to offer.

“We love the lakes in BC, we love the summer weather in BC,” Davis tells CFJC Today. “You guys have it pretty good.”

And while there’s a bit of smoke lingering around the lake, it’s nothing like the summer of 2017.

“After last years situation, this smoke seems like a minor annoyance,” Davis says.

According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire danger rating throughout the southern areas of the province are high to extreme, with a few small pockets of moderate.

Kamloops 4x4 Club President Charles Denbigh says conditions aren’t quite as dry as they were in 2017 when the club shut down all sanctioned off-road activities throughout the area.

“It was just so dry [last summer] that anything you did was a concern,” Denbigh says.

While the club hasn’t taken any steps to limit their member's activity this summer if this hot dry weather continues they may consider taking similar steps to last summer’s ban on off-road activity.

“We get a lot of feedback from our members, as to what’s happening out in the bush,” Denbigh explains. “If we get too many more days like this, we may end up doing the same as last year.”

For the Jerry, the 2017 wildfires haven’t affected his trip or the plans he and his wife have made, but they’re keeping their eyes on the situation, nonetheless.

“We’ll be checking [the] Okanagan fire situation. We do like to stop there for a week or so on the way back,” Davis said. “That potentially could impact our travel plans, but so far, nothing.”

Preparations underway for Ribfest and Hot Nite in the City