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HomeNewsBC Wildfire Update: August 17, 2017

BC Wildfire Update: August 17, 2017

Wildfires have burned more than 900,000 hectares of BC’s forests this year.

“In terms of area burned, 2017 is the worst season on record and of course we are certainly not done with this season by any stretch of the imagination,” says Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek.

This fire season officially became the most destructive on record on Wednesday, when the total hectares burned surpassed 1958’s total of nearly 856,000 hectares.

The Wildfire Service counts 138 fires currently burning, and 1,031 since April 1st. Suppression efforts have ballooned to $321.6 million.

Looking at the forecast, Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says a cold front will push cooler temperatures across the province, but could also bring strong winds.

“We’re going to be getting the wind and some cooler temperatures but really no rain on the back end of it to really do anything in terms of calming these fires down.”

There is also a risk of thunderstorms in the Cariboo and Chilcotin areas to end off the week.

Hanceville-Riske Creek, burning about 60 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake, is estimated to be about 215,000 hectares. It grew about 3,000 hectares overnight. There are 337 firefighters, an incident management team, support staff, 13 helicopters and 64 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.

The Elephant Hill fire, west of Kamloops, is still about 168,000 hectares. The Wildfire Service hasn’t seen much growth in the last 24 hours thanks to a shift in the weather and effective firefighting efforts. There are nearly 600 firefighters, an incident management team, structural protection personnel, support staff, 23 helicopters and 135 pieces that heavy equipment battling that one.

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