Frefighter lights a backburn during operations in the Southern Interior. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

Wildfire threat eases, light rain expected Thursday

Only four new starts Tuesday as B.C. Interior battle continues

The B.C. Wildfire Service has a total of 140 fires on its active map as of Wednesday, and is making progress containing some of the larger fires that threaten communities.

The fire total is down from previous weeks, with only four new starts reported Tuesday.

“That’s certainly a lower number than we’ve seen in the last week or week and a half, so that’s certainly welcome, but there is definitely still a lot of active fire on the landscape,” said Kevin Skrepnek of the B.C. Wildfire Service in an update Wednesday afternoon.

Rain showers are expected across southern B.C. Thursday, but B.C. Wildfire Service officials aren’t getting their hopes up that it will ease the situation as hot weather is expected to return for the weekend.

There are 35,800 people registered with the Red Cross as evacuees as of Wednesday, said Robert Turner with Emergency Management B.C.

The B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency, due to expire Friday at midnight, for an additional two weeks. That means people who are still on evacuation and registered with the Red Cross are eligible for a second payment of $600 per household for each two weeks they remain out of their homes.

RELATED: State of emergency, evacuee funding extended

RELATED: Forest firefighters threatened with gun

The evacuation order for Cache Creek was downgraded to an alert Tuesday to allow people to return, but there are still restrictions on entry to the firefighting area, Skrepnek said. Cache Creek residents are cleaning fire retardant from some buildings, which is similar to fertilizer once dried and washes off with water and mild detergent.

The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire complex, southwest of Williams Lake, still had no containment as of Wednesday, but Skrepnek said heavy equipment was making good progress building fuel-free barriers to the north and northwest. It was estimated at 1,250 square kilometres.

The White Lake fire, which jumped the Fraser River Saturday and triggered the evacuation of Williams Lake due to concern about road access, was 10 per cent contained as of Wednesday and estimated at 81 square kilometres. That’s down from the previous estimate of 120 square kilometres, mostly due to more accurate mapping after smoke cleared, Skrepnek said.

The Elephant Hill fire, formerly called the Ashcroft Reserve fire, was estimated at 526 square kilometres, and 30 per cent contained.

bc wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read