McKinley Lake Fire (Photo supplied by BC Wildfire Service)
BC Wildfire Service, Emergency BC, RCMP, BC Coroners Services, Red Cross, and Dr. Bonnie Henry were all on a conference call this afternoon (Sunday) that addressed the wildfires raging across the province.
Cliff Chapman with the BC Wildfire Service gave some statistics about the firefighting in the province:
- since April 1st, 633 wildfires have been responded to
- roughly 83,000 hectares have been burned
- 56% of the fires have been caused by humans
- 31% were caused by lighting, the remainder are to be determined
- 174 fires are currently burning across BC
- 81 of which were detected in the past 48 hours
Chapman also mentioned that 100 out-of-province resources will be added to BC tomorrow, but they will have to be rapid COVID-19 tested.
Extra aircraft is also being secured to help move around ground troops.
“The Federal Government has mobilized Edmonton as their support post for us. They are in the process of moving 350 individuals, ground troops into Edmonton in support of the potential for BC to need those ground resources,” said Chapman.
Pader Brach with Emergency BC stressed that BC residents living in areas that have wildfires nearby need to have a “go bag” ready for the scenario they get evacuated.
“So with the high threat of wildfires, there are some communities that have been placed of course on evacuation alert and evacuation orders. So we really want to let people know in these areas they need to be prepared to leave their homes on short notice. So the more you prepare in advance, the more peace of mind you’ll have when evacuating,” said Brach.
Dawn Roberts with the RCMP spoke about how the detachment in Lytton was burned, and what that meant for the surrounding area that the detachment governed.
“Actually we have business continuity plans in place that actually contemplate the loss of an entire detachment for a variety of reasons,” said Roberts.
She added that resources were temporarily added to Lillooet to help respond to the surrounding area around Lytton.
The Prince George Fire Centre currently has 3 wildfires of note:
- Chilako- 635 hectares- a remote fire east of Finger Tatuk Provincial Park.
- Kennedy Siding- 30 hectares- east of Highway 97, and 20km north of Highway 39 junction.
- Murray FSR- 650 hectares- north of Murray River, and south of Tumbler Ridge.
There are now four fires of note in the Cariboo, south of PG.