August 9, 2017 2:49 pm

B.C. wildfires status Wednesday: More than 360 wildfires this season are human-caused

Parks Canada posted this photo of crews working to suppress the Verdant Creek wildfire on Aug. 6, 2017.

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Almost 40 per cent of all the wildfires burning in B.C. since April have been human-caused.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says of the 931 fires that have been sparked, 364 have been started by humans and are now under investigation.

A wildfire in Lake Country that burned eight homes and damaged 30 other properties is believed to be human-caused.

READ MORE:  Lake Country Interface fire under investigation

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The Knox Mountain fire in Kelowna and the Elephant Hill wildfire are also now thought to have been deliberately set.

The Elephant Hill wildfire remains the biggest and the most challenging blaze facing firefighters this season.

FULL COVERAGE: B.C. wildfires

There are currently 146 fires burning in B.C. with 17 starting on Monday and 11 starting on Tuesday, most of them confirmed to have started by lightning.

The fires have burned 604,000 hectares and cost the province $243 million so far.

Weather

The weather across most of B.C. is going to remain sunny and hot until at least Thursday.

On Friday there could be a shift in the weather pattern bringing potentially cooler temperatures and rain to some areas but not enough to make a significant difference.

There is the potential for lightning in the interior into the weekend.

Inflow winds are forecast for the Fraser Canyon heading into Friday, which should clear up smoke in southern B.C.

“The timing for the change in the overall weather pattern is still on track to really start to kick in late Friday night,” said Global BC meteorologist Mark Madryga.

“That is a touch more marine air on late Friday, and then Saturday not as hot with a bit more cloud, but still dry.”

The Air Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley continues at this time.

The air quality is much worse in the interior, however, especially in those areas close to where the fires are burning.

MAP: Location of wildfires burning around B.C.

Livestock lost

Brent Bartley, manager of regional development with the Ministry of Agriculture says it is estimated about 30,000 livestock have been lost in the wildfires this season.

“At this stage, we don’t know how many are hurt or lost,” he said Tuesday.

Bartley says income assistance will be made available for ranchers through the federal and the provincial government.

Ranchers are being asked to contact the ministry to air their concerns so that they can be connected to the support that they need.

The B.C. Cattlemen’s Association is also working to find range for animals and ranchers who need grazing.

Campfire warnings ignored

It seems some are still not getting the message, however.

B.C.’s Conservation Service says it handed it out 19 tickets over the long weekend to people who disobeyed the campfire ban that covers B.C.

Chris Doyle, the deputy chief of the service, says each of those caught was issued $1,150 tickets.

-With files from The Canadian Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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