Northern and Interior B.C. continue to battle new wildfires

·2 min read
A Conair 802 Air Tractor Fireboss Skimmer aircraft is seen in a video released by the B.C. Wildfire Service in June 2022. (B.C. Wildfire Service/YouTube - image credit)
A Conair 802 Air Tractor Fireboss Skimmer aircraft is seen in a video released by the B.C. Wildfire Service in June 2022. (B.C. Wildfire Service/YouTube - image credit)

The B.C. Wildfire Service says they responded to several new wildfires Friday, and at least one blaze thought to be contained is now burning out of control.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Dashboard, there were 180 active fires across the province Saturday morning, an increase of 76 in the last two days.

According to the service's Twitter feed, crews responded to "numerous wildfires that were sparked by lightning" overnight Thursday and through Friday in the Cariboo Fire Centre — which stretches from Clinton, north to the Cottonwood River, east to Wells Gray Provincial Park and west to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.

Most of the fires are located in the 100 Mile and Central Cariboo regions, with one fire northeast and another southwest of Canoe Lake, plus a third near Big Bar Lake, they said.

B.C. Wildfire Service
B.C. Wildfire Service

Officials say one fire has already been put out and the three others are under control, but they expect more fires could be discovered in the coming days.

On Thursday night, the Hasler Flats fire, about 30 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd — 302 kilometres north of Prince George — went from being contained to out of control, they said.

 

The change in status was due to "a small run on the southern flank of the fire" as well as an increase in visible smoke.

Additional air tankers were brought in to help, and officials say the fire has not yet reached so-called decision points — boundaries in a fire management plan where firefighters will change tactics if the blaze reaches a certain area.

New fires in B.C. Interior

Meanwhile, the wildfire service also said there were two new fires in the B.C. Interior on Friday.

In the afternoon, crews responded to the Cosens Creek fire in the Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, eight kilometres southeast of Vernon.

The fire was highly visible from Highway 97, Vernon and the surrounding area, and was spreading at moderate speed, they said.

 

At around 9 p.m., the wildfire service also responded to the Vlem Creek wildfire, about nine kilometres east of Armstrong in the North Okanagan.

They said the fire is highly visible to surrounding communities and air tankers were already on site, with crews and helicopters en route.

B.C. Wildfire Service says anyone who sees signs of a wildfire can report it by calling 1-800-663-5555 or dialling *5555 on a cell phone.

Fire can also be reported through the service's mobile app, where photos can be uploaded for a response team to assess.