Few fires in a wild, wet summer

B.C. taxpayers got a break on forest fire costs this summer, but the transportation ministry is still busy with major repairs after an unseasonable number of road washouts.

The Bitter Creek bridge near Stewart in northwest B.C. washed out last week

B.C. taxpayers got a break on forest fire costs this summer, but the transportation ministry is still busy with major repairs after an unseasonable number of road washouts.

The latest closure is Highway 37A, leaving the northwestern B.C. community of Stewart without road access until a bridge 10 km east of the community is replaced.

The Bitter Creek bridge washed out last week after more than 180 mm of rain fell over two days. Several other sections of Highway 37A were also washed out, forcing groceries to be brought in by barge along with heavy equipment for repairs.

Highway 37 north of Stewart to the Yukon border has also been closed to traffic due to mudslides and flooding.

The ministry reports that this year in the Bulkley-Stikine highways district there has been damage to 20 km of road, two bridges and eight large culverts. Another two bridges, two large culverts and two km of road have needed repair in the Fort George district, and two km of road damaged in the Skeena district. Estimated cost of emergency response and repair is $5 million for the three areas.

Heavy rains left a larger mess in the northeast of the province. A 64-km section of Highway 97 between Prince George and Chetwynd remains under construction after a 130 mm downpour in late June caused damage to 77 sites in the Pine Pass.

Subsequent downpours in the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John areas damaged more bridges and roads, with emergency response and repair costs for the Peace region estimated at $38 million.

The Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley were spared widespread damage during the wet early summer. Major events include flood damage to five km of Highway 3 in the Skagit Valley, and a late-June landslide that briefly closed the Trans-Canada Highway at Herrling Island north of Chilliwack.

In the Okanagan and Kootenay regions there were 60 weather damage events including slides, washouts, plugged or failed culverts and bridge approach washouts. Response and recovery costs in those regions are estimated at $18.7 million.

Just Posted

Vehicle catches fire near China Creek Marina

No injuries in blaze, according to witnesses

North Island College issues brief statement on bomb threat

Threat forced college to close all campuses for one day

Premier wades into fishery closure debate

John Horgan questions the federal government’s approach

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Horse riders resurrect public riding ring near Port Alberni

Open house planned for July 22 so public can check out Beaver Creek facility

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Firefighters put out brush fire in Nanaimo

Fire broke out in the area of a new development under construction in East Wellington

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read