Provincial Update on Wildfires July 2
Cliff Chapman, director of provincial operations for BC Wildfire Service, gave an update today on fire activity over the past 24 hours.
"Currently we have 136 active fires across the province, really focused with the Southeast, the Interior, Cariboo, and up into the Prince George area. A significant spread of wildfires across the province. Nine of those fires are fires of note."
Chapman says the province saw about 12,000 lightning strikes just yesterday, many of which were near communities.
"We had 70 new confirmed fires yesterday mostly focused in the Southern Cariboo, Interior and Southeast of the province. Of those 70 fires none grew beyond, sort of 100 hectares is the biggest at this point. We do expect to pick up additional fires from the lightning activity yesterday, we already are through today. Likely to see somewhere in that same neighbourhood of 70 fires for today and we are anticipating the potential for additional lightning as things lift today heading into the early evening."
And Chapman doesn't expect any help from Mother Nature.
"The forecast for the next 12 to 24 hours is not likely to bring a lot of relief for the Southern part of the province. We continue to see above seasonal temperatures. It has come down from the mid 40s we saw earlier this week, but we are still sitting in the low 30s for much of the Southern part of the province."
But there are a few supporting partners. "We are working with the federal government and the Canadian military to secure additional assets to support BC Wildfire Service and communities in the form of aviation resources, and also in discussions about the potential of ground resources should the season continue."
RCMP Staff Sergeant Janelle Shoihet says some of their staff have been impacted by the Lytton fire and a detachment was lost.
"We have planning in place... once it is safe to get into the area. The first thing will be to do a thorough grid search, but at this point it just isn't feasible for us to get into the area. Until that time we are just holding. There are roadblocks in place and we do ask that you respect those roadblocks, you respect that the area is still subject to an evacuation order."
Shoihet says more alerts may be issued as the result of more fires.
Find a list of all active fires in the province on the BC Wildfire Dashboard.