Largest wildfire in province’s history continues to grow

BC Wildfire officials hope for rain, but conditions remain hot and dry throughout the province.

Not much has changed since the BC Wildfire Service last provided an update on current wildfire conditions around the province.

They’re still desperately waiting for rainfall in the southeast portion of the province where many of the fires continue to burn, and in the Cariboo Fire Centre where the largest fire in B.C. history shows no signs of calming down.

The Plateau Fire burning near Williams Lake and Quesnel is now 520,000 hectares in size. It was first discovered nearly two months ago on July 7. With little precipitation in the forecast, it’s expected to continue growing.

Better success has been had fighting both the Hanceville/Riske Creek fire burning west of Williams Lake. That blaze is now 50 per cent contained, but still 238,000 hectares in size and crews on the ground are receiving assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces.

RELATED: Hot and dry long weekend concerns wildfire crews

Another large fire that is now 50 per cent contained is the Elephant Hill fire north of Cache Creek, near Ashcroft. It is 192,000 hectares in size and has also been burning for the past two months. A cause for this fire has yet to be determined, but RCMP today said they’ve ruled out the potential scenario of a train in the area starting the blaze.

There are 162 wildfires burning today in the province and four of those started yesterday.

Other relatively new fires that have recently broken out include the Finlay Creek wildfire near Peachland. It is now 1,000 hectares in size and has caused evacuation alerts in two separate regional districts. This area of the province has not seen rain since June 15.

The Linklater Creek fire — formerly the Mount Robinson fire — crossed over the Canadian border near Cranbrook on Aug. 22 and is now 833 hectares in size. The entire blaze, incluidng south of the border, is 8,200 hectares in total.

So far since April 1, the 2017 wildfire season has cost the BC Wildfire Service $464.6 million. The 1,207 fires have burned 1,148,928 hectares mostly in the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast Fire Centres.

The most up-to-date information can be found at BC Wildfire.

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