(BC Wildfire Service)

Weather forecast concerns wildfire officials

Conditions expected to remain hot and dry through weekend with strong chance of more lightning.

Wildfire officials are expressing concern as hot and dry conditions are expected to remain in place for much of B.C. over the next few days and throughout this weekend.

There is little rain in the forecast, and with the potential for lightning activity over much of the province, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said weather remains a huge factor as crews attempt to contain the 152 fires burning throughout the province at this time.

With winds gusting up to 40 km/h in some areas, fire officials are expecting more new fires today given the ideal conditions, which could make for challenging days ahead.

RELATED: Wildfires have been ‘almost unprecedented’

Another 15 new fires broke out on Tuesday, bringing the total number of wildfires recorded since April 1 to 787. These fires have burned through 379,000 hectares at a cost of $145.2 million.

Skrepnek said the province is weeks ahead of where it should be with accumulated dryness and with winds expected to continue over the weekend, there could be a significant increase in fire activity.

Local governments have been asked to prepare for any eventuality — including the ability to either receive evacuees or to be put on alert as well. Residents should continue to monitor the weather in their area and watch your local Black Press website for further updates.

Assistant Deputy Minister Robert Turner with Emergency Management BC said the Ministry of Children and Families has reopened their office in 100 Mile House at its regular location and all services are open to the public.

RELATED: Evacuation order lifted for 100 Mile House

According to RCMP the Okanagan Centre wildfire is believed to have been deliberately set, and officers are now investigating it as a criminal case of arson.

At a press conference Wednesday, Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said they have identified a few groups of recreational users that were in the area on July 15. And anyone who was in the area and might have photos or video of the area are also urged to contact police.

“Any photos or video captured by boaters, those on land, motorists, or residents with closed circuit CT cams, that recorded that day of the fire, we would be interested in viewing,” he said.

RELATED: Lake Country wildfire intentionally set

Major wildfires:

  • Hanceville Riske Creek – 132,000 ha, 45 per cent contained
  • White Lake – 8,107 ha
  • Wildwood – 12,987 ha
  • Elephant Hill – 61,500 ha, 30 per cent contained

Wildfire donations:

Vancouver paramedics will be collecting donations today for the Red Cross and wildfire relief. They will be stationed outside the Broadway Skytrain Station on July 26 from 1-6 p.m.

BC Liquor Stores have also been collecting donations and have raised $300,000.

Wildfire updates:

To report a new wildfire or an open burning violation, please call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, call 1 888 3-FOREST (1-888-336-7378) or visit the BC Gov wildfire website.

You can follow the latest wildfire news on:

More to come…

Just Posted

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

Setting sail to fight kidney disease

Trail’s annual Kidney Walk included an opportunity to raft down the Columbia River

MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read