Fire officials won’t let down their guard despite a decreasing number of fires across B.C. The BC Wildfire Service says there are 155 fire active fires and reports only 9 new fires yesterday.
Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says crews have been using calmer weather to build fire guards around existing fires. However 15 fires are continuing to threaten communities through the province. “Certainly we are seeing the number of active fires decreasing, given that we haven’t a big day in terms of new fire numbers,” said Skrepnek. He added, “but we still do have 27 wildfires of note across the province.” Skrepnek says the fires around Williams Lake and north of Ashcroft continue to be the fires of most concern because of their ability to impact populated areas.
Meantime the weather forecast is finally lending a helping hand. Calmer winds has led to the slower growth of most fires. However calmer winds have also created visibility issues for air tankers and other aircraft. Heavy smoke is rising from the fires, making it difficult and dangerous to maneuver in the skies above the fires. “We have been able to get some aircraft into the air, but we have to do it in a very low risk manner,” said Skrepnek. ”
Rain is forecast through parts of southern B.C. Wednesday. Thursday is expected to bring widespread rain to most of the fire ravaged areas. However officials warn the rain could bring lightning with it.
Meantime officials are advising residents who have been allowed to return to Cache Creek, to remain calm and prepare for emotional situations. Clicking here will allow you to see the government’s check list for residents to follow when returning to evacuated areas. Police will begin escorting residents into the town when the Evacuation Order is rescinded at 3:00pm.
Overall the province has seen 675 fires since April 1st, which have burned 327,000 hectares. The costs to fight this year’s forest fires has risen to $98.4 million.