Frefighter lights a backburn during operations in the Southern Interior. (B.C. Wildfire Service)

Wildfire threat eases, light rain expected Thursday

Only four new starts Tuesday as B.C. Interior battle continues

The B.C. Wildfire Service has a total of 140 fires on its active map as of Wednesday, and is making progress containing some of the larger fires that threaten communities.

The fire total is down from previous weeks, with only four new starts reported Tuesday.

“That’s certainly a lower number than we’ve seen in the last week or week and a half, so that’s certainly welcome, but there is definitely still a lot of active fire on the landscape,” said Kevin Skrepnek of the B.C. Wildfire Service in an update Wednesday afternoon.

Rain showers are expected across southern B.C. Thursday, but B.C. Wildfire Service officials aren’t getting their hopes up that it will ease the situation as hot weather is expected to return for the weekend.

There are 35,800 people registered with the Red Cross as evacuees as of Wednesday, said Robert Turner with Emergency Management B.C.

The B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency, due to expire Friday at midnight, for an additional two weeks. That means people who are still on evacuation and registered with the Red Cross are eligible for a second payment of $600 per household for each two weeks they remain out of their homes.

RELATED: State of emergency, evacuee funding extended

RELATED: Forest firefighters threatened with gun

The evacuation order for Cache Creek was downgraded to an alert Tuesday to allow people to return, but there are still restrictions on entry to the firefighting area, Skrepnek said. Cache Creek residents are cleaning fire retardant from some buildings, which is similar to fertilizer once dried and washes off with water and mild detergent.

The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire complex, southwest of Williams Lake, still had no containment as of Wednesday, but Skrepnek said heavy equipment was making good progress building fuel-free barriers to the north and northwest. It was estimated at 1,250 square kilometres.

The White Lake fire, which jumped the Fraser River Saturday and triggered the evacuation of Williams Lake due to concern about road access, was 10 per cent contained as of Wednesday and estimated at 81 square kilometres. That’s down from the previous estimate of 120 square kilometres, mostly due to more accurate mapping after smoke cleared, Skrepnek said.

The Elephant Hill fire, formerly called the Ashcroft Reserve fire, was estimated at 526 square kilometres, and 30 per cent contained.

Just Posted

Stolen sax, sheet music, impacts Trail big-band and after school band

Anyone with information is urged to call the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566

Extensive road repair nears completion in Fruitvale

The scope of work includes new water and sewer service connections as well as road resurfacing

Community invited to check out mining trade show in Trail

Trade show free and open public on Wednesday and Thursday in the Trail Memorial Centre

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Christmas blooms in downtown Trail

The Artisan Craft Co-op recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in downtown Trail

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read