Over the course of the summer, money and resources have been poured into fighting fires in BC’s worst wildfire season on record.
“Estimated cost to date, specifically for the BC Wildfire service, is $499.4 million,” says Kevin Skrepnek, BC’s Chief Fire Information Officer. “There’s currently just under 3,000 firefighters and support personnel working throughout the province.”
While BC’s not out of the woods yet, progress is being made. Many evacuation orders and alerts were downgraded over the weekend. The Wildfire Service says the Finlay Creek and the Elephant Hill fires are both 50% contained now.
In the Prince George Fire Centre, Fire Information Officer, Amanda Reynolds, says we are over the worst of the fire season. “We are getting cooler kind of seasonal temperatures again. You know the precipitation. We are getting a little less daylight each day, which really helps us. The overnight recoveries have been really good. You know, we are not out of wildfire season yet, but we are over the big hump for sure.”
The fire danger rating for Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Robson Valley is low, but there are still some areas of concern within the centre.”We still do have some concern and some hazard up in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson,” says Reynolds. “They haven’t had any precipitation over the past two weeks so they are still in ‘high’ and some parts are in ‘extreme’.”
The Prince George Fire Centre is continuing to send resources to southeastern parts of the province. After the wildfire season is over, Reynolds says it will be time to discuss the wildfire response. “Once all of the fires are under control and everyone has had some rest, there will be some meetings and kind of find out some ways we can improve and emphasize things we have done well this season.”