There are now 138 fires burning in BC, including 14 new blazes starting on Monday.
Since April 1st, there have been over 840 blazes which have burned 460,000 hectares. Suppression efforts have cost $188 million.
There is 108 personnel flying in from Mexico this week, in addition to 27 American workers and 100 more from Ontario that landed this weekend. Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says national resources are becoming scarce.
“Some of the other provinces, their own dangers are starting to increase so they’re having to hold onto their crews a little bit more. We’re still getting a tremendous amount of cooperation and certainly, BC is the highest preparedness condition of the entire country right now so we’re still getting support it’s just not to the same level as what we necessarily are looking to bring into the province in terms of bolstering our resources and enough capacity so that we can rest our crews periodically as well.”
The entire province is seeing hot weather all week. It should be sunny and dry throughout the south with temperatures in the mid- to high-30s. There is a chance of dry lightning last this week and into the weekend, especially in the southeast, which Skrepnek says would almost guarantee new fires.
“If there is lightning, even if it does come with a little bit of rain, the forest is going to be so primed for ignition right now just because we’ve had such a sustained period of hot and dry weather, this weekend is definitely shaping up to be significant if we do see that lightning materialize.”
So far, there have been 305 structures lost in BC, including at least 71 homes, 116 outbuildings (sheds, barns) and three commercial buildings. The remaining 115 are yet to be identified.
There are still about 6,000 – 7,000 British Columbians on evacuation order, according to BC Emergency Management Assistant Deputy Minister Robert Turner.
An update on the Elephant Hill wildfire near Ashcroft. It has grown to 84,000 hectares. Approximately 500 workers are fighting it and have contained about 30% of the blaze.
RCMP and BC Wildfire Service is investigating the cause of it. They’re seeking information and have created a tip line at 1-855-685-8788.