Good news and bad news on the wildfire front this morning.
Provincial Fire Information Officer Kyla Fraser says cooler wetter weather is on the way as fires rage across the province.
“We will see some patchy showers across different areas of the province moving into this weekend. So that’s certainly good news, and we’re hoping that some of those hardest hit areas will see a little bit of that rain. But unfortunately that does also mean that there is increased risk of lightning, and that’s something that we’re bracing ourselves for as well.”
Fraser says there are 563 fires currently burning, a slight uptick from the last update.
Fraser says the Northwest Fire Centre still remains a concerns with huge fires burning in the Stikine, including the Shovel Lake fire.
“Fortunately with that Shovel Lake wildfire, which is currently the largest that is burning in B.C. We haven’t seen it move towards highway 27 and Ft. St. James and surrounding communities in the last five days.”
She says an evacuation order was issued for a small community near the Yukon border.
Fraser says the Southeast Fire Centre also a concern, where the Meachen Creek fire is threatening Kimberly.
“It looks like it is still around the same size just under 7,000 hectares. That evacuation alert is still in place. Lots of fires continuing to pop up in the Southeast Fire Centre.”
Fraser says with so many wildfires all over B.C. staffing is a challenge.
“Definitely resourcing is a challenge when you are facing this many wildfires. But we have over 3,700 personnel working. That is definitely good news and it allows us to move resources around the province. We are just continuing to prioritize those fires that are the highest risk.”
Fraser says all the smoke is still a problem as well.
“Certainly still facing issues with that just depending which region you are in, in the province. There is definitely some smoke pooling over different areas. That will continue to be a challenge in regards to our air support and detecting new fires.”
There are currently 56 fires of note, big nasty blazes, burning in the province.