Officials update on Province’s fire situation

Photo Courtesy: BC Wildfire Service

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Steve Thomson joined the Province’s Chief Fire Information Officer and the Executive Director of Operations with Emergency Management BC to brief media about the fire situation in British Columbia — specifically in the Peace region.

Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek confirmed that there are 81 wildfires, and 56 are burning in Northeast B.C.

213 forest fires have been reported in B.C. since April 1 — which is twice as many as 2015. 30,000 hectares of land have burned to date.

While the forest service expects a few more days of challenging weather, there could be a shift in weather on Sunday. Rain is expected to fall in the Peace on Sunday. Up to 50-kilometre an hour winds could roll in on Saturday.

Skrepnek said he wasn’t aware of any structural loss in fires that occurred over the last few days.

The Beatton Airport Fire, at 12,000 hectares, is moving to the south. It has been growing ‘aggressively,’ with more growth expected.

The 17,000-hectare Siphon Creek Fire, Skrepnek said, is moving to the south and southeast.

The boundaries of the Siphon Creek fire. Photo from BC Wildfire Services.
The boundaries of the Siphon Creek fire. Photo from BC Wildfire Services.

Chris Duffy with Emergency Management BC said 396 addresses are effected by an evacuation order near the Beatton Road Fire, equaling to about 500 people. Under the evacuation order near Siphon Creek, 11 addresses are effected.

All available resources have been brought in to the fires in the northeast, as well as contract firefighters coming in.This also includes all available air tanker resources in the Province. Every available crew in the Province has been moved to the northeast to work the fires.

It was also confirmed that the Province is setting up a camp for firefighters near the Siphon Creek fire and near Hudson’s Hope.

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