A Canadian Armed Forces Flight Engineer surveys the wildfires burning in British Columbia during a reconnaissance flight from a CH-147 Chinook during Operation LENTUS 17-04 in Kamloops British Columbia, on 12 July 2017. (Province of British Columbia)

B.C. wildfire crews prepare for windy weekend

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold front Saturday afternoon

With 167 fires burning across B.C. Friday afternoon, fire crews are looking to prepare for winds across the central and southern Interior this weekend.

There remain 22 wildfires of note, with 14 of those classified as interface fires, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said. So far, 114,000 hectares of land have been burned, equating to $73 million in costs as 3,000 personnel help battle the blazes.

RELATED: Evacuation alert means ‘get ready to leave’

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold front Saturday afternoon, bringing windy conditions throughout southern B.C. Lightning is also forecasted near Fort St. John.

“As for the wind, we’re especially concerned in what that’s going to entail,” Skrepnek said.

The Chilcotin region, near Williams Lake, stands as the largest fire – made up of several smaller fires – at 40,000 hectares in size.

Efforts to prepare for the winds include controlled burns at areas around 100 Mile as well as White Lake in Williams Lake – the fire posing the most threat to the city. Controlled burns allow for the fuel to burn in a controlled setting before fires potentially move to the areas, due to wind.

Meanwhile, Skrepnek discouraged people entering the backcountry.

“When it is this hot and dry, with the winds in the forecast, too, it just makes everything more volatile,” he said, encouraging people to stay out of the backcountry.

As of 2 p.m. July 14, wildfires of note sit at:

Ashcroft Reserve– 11,500 ha

Princeton – 2,700 ha, 10 per cent contained

Gustafsen – 5,000 ha, 20 per cent contained

Wildwood – 2,500 ha, 40 per cent contained

Chilcotin complex (multiple fires) – 40,000 ha

Little Fort east – 1,400 ha, 20 per cent contained

Litte Fort west – 450 ha, 40 per cent contained

Just Posted

Armada boys drop first game of AAA North Island basketball championships

Alberni faces No. 1 seed Mark Isfeld in Saturday, Feb. 17 morning game

Alberni Armada senior girls play for Island bronze

Girls drop game to SMU, still have a shot at provincial basketball berth

Armada senior girls win first contest at AA Island championships

Hoops team faces SMU in game this evening at Mark Isfeld in Courtenay

Pension delays unacceptable, Courtenay-Alberni MP says

Some retiring vets, RCMP wait ‘months, years’

Valentine’s Day a busy one for Alberni RCMP

Cops deal with 39 calls in one shift, including numerous thefts from vehicles

North Island College opens its doors to Alberni, west coast students

More than 200 Grade 11 students check out programs offered at Alberni campus

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks came out hot, beat Bruins 6-1

Loui Eriksson scores twice, catapulting Vancouver to a lopsided victory over Boston

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

Most Read