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July 23, 2017 11:35 am

BC Wildfire Service, ‘Watching the Wind’

Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

Prince George, B.C. – A cold front is expected to move through B.C. on Saturday, and  that could mean  windy conditions  which could make  current wildfire  suppression efforts even more challenging.

Chief Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Service , Kevin Skrepnek says  while there may be some thunderstorms in the Cariboo this afternoon,    the  gusty winds that  are expected to accompany  those storms, “would outweigh  any  the positive  effects of any rain that comes with those potential thunderstorms.”

The major  weather concern, is   the outlook for the  weekend,  “Forecasting a cold front passage to begin on Saturday afternoon that is likely  going to bring significant  winds across most of southern British Columbia, of course winds have  been a huge factor in terms of fire activity over the last  few weeks.  So that is definitely a cause for concern in challenging some of our efforts out there.”

There are now 16,250 people  who have  been evacuated across the province, 4,655  are seeking refuge in group  lodging at emergency  centres in  the province,   a further 9,429 have found other accommodation.

“We are asking for patience from British Columbians” says Kevin Skrepnek, “It has been an incredibly stressful week for many folks out there.”   Skrepnek  says there is  “A pretty incredible amount of work being done across the province right now, I realize people are anxious  to return to normal and return home, but the reality  is that is going to take time,  given the situation we are in right now.”

In all ,  there are 188 fires burning in the province,   16 of which  are new fires that  were reported yesterday.  Since the fire season started April 1,  there have been 617 fires in B.C.,  burning  111,000 hectares.

The current status of fires in the  Prince George  Fire Centre  is  as follows:

  • Sutherland Road:  estimated size is 1590 hectares,  this fire is 80%  contained.  An evacuation  alert remains in place  area restriction order remains in place.
  • Grizzly Lake:  (Natalsby Lake)  west of Little Bobtail   is now  100% contained  and under control.  An evacuation alert remains in place
  • Big Ben Creek (Tatuk Lake/ Finger Lake)   estimated to be  2,062 hectares  and  is still out of control   An evacuation alert remains in place

Current status of fires in the Cariboo Fire District  is as follows:

  • Gustafsen: estimated at  5,000 hectares and is 15% contained
  • Wildwood: estimated  2,500  and is 40% contained
  • Hanceville:   estimated 10,000 hectares
  • 150 Mile:  2600 hectares,  50% contained
  • Green Mountain: 1500 hectares 60% contained

Comments

We can thank our lucky stars we got these folks on the ground and in the air working to keep our communities safe, big huge THANKYOU!

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