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September 24, 2017 12:35 pm

Complaceny a Concern Following Horrendous Wildfire Season

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 5:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The wildfire threat in BC was reduced substantially by a significant shift in the weather over the past week,  However, officials say that now the big concern is complacency.

BC Wildfire Service Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says the Northwest and Prince George Fire Centres may have rescinded their campfire bans but people need to remain vigilant in the outdoors.  Campfire prohibitions and off road vehicle bans remain in effect for the Cariboo, Kamloops, Southeast and Coastal Fire Centres.

Skrepnek says “we encourage everyone to be exceptionally careful with any activity that could spark a wildfire in the back country.  And report any opening burning violations or new wildfires to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your cell phone.”

The Executive Director of Operations with Emergency Management BC, Chris Duffy, says there are 13 Evacuation Orders still in place in the province affecting 4,298 people.  There are 32 Evacuation Alerts with 10,463 people on alert.

Duffy says “as we make this transition from response to recovery there is still quite a concerted effort and in many cases recovery can be as difficult or more difficult than response.  And certainly, provincial and federal ministries are very committed to support for communities, local authorities and First Nations.  That includes working with groups like the Cattlemen’s Association to ensure that that recovery planning and activity is carried out to the best effect for communities.”

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has good news for travellers.  Highway 24 to Little Fort as well as the Nazko Road have both fully re-opened so there are no highways in the province that are closed due to wildfire.  As well there are currently no advisories due to smoke.

The ministry cautions, however, that the situation can change quickly, particularly with the outbreak of new fires.

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