The 2017 B.C. wildfire season is approaching one of the largest ever by area burned. (B.C. government)

B.C. Wildfire season approaching 2009 record

Estimated 8,450 square kilometres burned this season

After weekend winds spread B.C. Interior wildfires further, 2017 is shaping up to be the largest area burned on record, B.C. Wildfire Service estimates show.

The current estimate is 8,450 square kilometres affected, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said in his daily briefing Tuesday. Costs to the provincial service have exceeded $300 million, compared to $382 million for the full 2009 forest fire season.

The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire is currently the largest, estimated at 2,120 square kilometres. The Elephant Hill fire remains more than 50 km away from Kamloops and has not grown significantly since the weekend, Skrepnek said.

The service has issued its latest estimate of structures burned this summer, including 71 residences, 118 outbuildings, three commercial buildings, a bridge west of Quesnel and 117 other structures.

The evacuation order for the village of Clinton and the Highway 97 corridor from Cache Creek to Clinton is downgraded to alert as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, allowing traffic to travel that section of the highway for the first time since July 29.

Traffic enforcement on the highway has been provided to make sure evacuees and other local traffic are given precedence.

Just Posted

Annual Victoria Hospitals Foundation gala brings in nearly $700,000

Event raises a significant portion of $3.2 million goal for cardiac care campaign

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates 20th anniversary

Norman Nelson founded the orchestra in 1997

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Three Sooke students awarded scholarships

Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship program awarded annually to undergraduate students

Sooke talk focuses on risk of nuclear war

Discussion and talk held on Nov. 30

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip celebrate 70th anniversary

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary

Charles Manson, leader of murderous ’60s cult, dead at 83

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

Naked man arrested in Nanaimo, provided with pants

Suspect arrested for causing disturbance Nov. 13 near Bowen and Northfield roads

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla reopens near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

Most Read