(BC Wildfire)

327,000 hectares burned across B.C.

$98 million spent on fighting wildfires so far

There have been 327,000 hectares of land burned across B.C. since April 1.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek reported the number on Tuesday afternoon. There have been 675 total fires across B.C. this fire season. Nine of them started on Monday.

There are 155 wildfires currently burning, Skrepnek said. Of those, 27 are fires of note and 15 are directly threatening communities. The firefighting effort has cost the province $98.4 million thus far.

RELATED: EMBC to deliver satellite phones to wildfire-affected areas

“That 327,000 hectares is certainly a significant jump from yesterday,” he said. “That’s a mix of growth on some fires, particularly in the Chilcotin area, but also just some more accurate mapping of what’s going on out there.”

twitter.com

Weather has been a “help and hindrance,” Skrepnek said, especially to the 230 aircraft working to douse the flames.

“Smoke has been a challenge today in terms of aircraft operation,” he said. “But visibility is improving.”

RELATED: Smoke fills the air for another day

The province continues to have just over 3,000 personnel, including firefighters and support staff, working on the fires. Of those, 961 are forest industry contractors, and 417 out-of-province personnel.

The BC Wildfire Centre is expecting some rain on Thursday, which Skrepnek said will help with the smoke but is unlikely do much for the wildfires themselves. However, the southern part of B.C. is expecting lightning near Hope and Princeton later today.

“Tomorrow, we’re expecting some isolated thunderstorms with rain in the south and potentially in the Cariboo,” he said.

Emergency Management BC deputy minister Robert Turner said that there are currently 45,806 evacuees. Of the 31,935 who have registered for aid with the Red Cross, 84 per cent will have received it by the end of Tuesday.

The updated numbers, Turner said, come largely as a result of more accurate demographic data from local governments.

VIDEO: Cloverdale reception centre welcomes wildfire evacuees

blackpress.tv

The money, which are being distributed by the Red Cross, comes from the provincial fund. Each evacuated household will received $600.

One of the biggest fires in the province, formerly called the Ashcroft Reserve fire, is now called the Elephant Hill Fire. Cache Creek residents, who have been under evacuation, will head back home at 3 p.m. today. The fire is considered 30 per cent contained.

Skrepnek said that the Cache Creek residents should remain vigilant, as today’s evacuation status downgrade could reverse itself. Cache Creek will remain under evacuation alert.

Turner warned returning residents that they should be prepared, not only logistically, but emotionally to return to their homes.

RELATED: Families in the 105 will soon hear about their homes

This has been a traumatic event, for people, for families, for communities,” said Turner. Support services are being made available by local governments.

In terms of the practicalities, Turner said that grocery stores, gas stations and other utilities may not be functioning right away.

“Turning off a town is a lot easier than turning it back on,” said Turner. The Red Cross will be providing financial assistance and cleaning kits to families who return to their homes.

“Both the cleaning kits and financial assistance for returnees will require a physical visit to a Red Cross facility,” Turner said. The visit will verify that the family has returned to their communities.

RELATED: Wildfire evacuees frustrated with Red Cross waits

The White Lake fire, which had jumped the Fraser River earlier this week and was threatening Williams Lake, remains five to seven kilometres away from the city.

Sgt. Annie Linteau said that the RCMP will be watching over the return of Cache Creek residents to their homes very carefully. RCMP will be asking for identification in order to ensure that it is Cache Creek residents who are getting to return first. Linteau reminded the public that both RCMP officers and park rangers are communication to residents about evacuation orders. She noted that rangers have reported people ignoring instructions to leave in Wells Gray Park.

Significant fires update:

  • Hansville/Riske Creek complex – 98,000 ha
  • White Lake – 12,000 ha, 10 per cent contained
  • Wildwood complex – 13,000 ha, 20 per cent contained
  • Elephant Hill – 52,600 ha, 30 per cent contained

bc wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drive-in movie at the Hyde Creek Petro Can. (Gaby Wickstrom/Facebook photo)
Gate House Theatre presents: Drive-in movies on Halloween weekend

‘As we work towards next year’s lineup of movies, we will begin to have themes’

BC Provincial Election candidates for the North Island riding. (Campbell River Mirror graphic)
VIDEO: Watch both Mount Waddington All-Candidate Forums before election day

General voting day will officially commence at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Email editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish online and in print.
Homeless shelter should be open 24 hours a day in Port Hardy

‘Hopefully homeless people have somewhere to go during the day that is warm and dry’

File Photo
Planned power outage in Port Alice Oct. 27

BC Hydro crews to work from midnight to 4 a.m. replacing substation equipment

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read