July 21, 2014 12:48 pm
Updated: July 22, 2014 3:42 am

Cooler temperatures alleviate wildfire risk across B.C.


WATCH: Wetter weather is helping firefighters across the province. Jill Bennett has a look at the situation across B.C.

Cooler weather in many regions of the province has significantly lowered the risk of wildfires.

“Most of the province is sitting at a moderate or low fire danger rating,” says provincial fire information officer Navi Saini.

Saini says this weekend was relatively quiet in terms of fire activity compared to what the crews had to deal with in weeks prior.

“We had a break in weather with cooler weather conditions and higher relative humidity for many areas of the province and that definitely helped with the fire behavior that we were seeing, especially with some of the fires in the Prince George area. Crews were able to make good progress on many fires, especially the Smith Creek fire in West Kelowna,” she says.

The fire is now 60 per cent contained and is 260 hectares in size.

WATCH: Provincial fire information officer Navi Saini provides an update on the wildfire situation in B.C.

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Most people have been able to go home, but the evacuation order remains in effect for eight large, rural, private properties in the interface areas immediately above Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Woods Neighbourhoods, including all properties accessed off Dixie Road. The Evacuation Order area, including parks, trails and public and private lands, remains closed to the public, including Wildhorse Park and Tallus Park.

An evacuation order also remains in effect for Lytton area homes because of the Botanie Creek fire.

The fire is 1,500 hectares in size and completely uncontained.

Unpredictable winds have complicated efforts to set up a line of control.

There has been some damage to power lines and buildings in the region.

More than 120 firefighters, six helicopters, and nearly a dozen pieces of heavy equipment have been deployed to the scene.

In total, 135 active fires are burning throughout the province, with 15 designated as wildfires of note.

Saini says the majority of fires are small in size.

Fire crews responded to four new fires yesterday, three of which were human caused.

Last week, Wildfire Management Branch put in a request for 200 out-of-province firefighters to help with the firefighting effort here in B.C.

Firefighters from Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec have joined local crews this weekend.

“They will be deployed around the province depending on where the need is the greatest,” says Saini.

Meanwhile, authorities are reminding the public to be extra diligent with campfire use when in the backcountry this summer.

Correction: A previous version if this article stated there are a total 835 fires burning in the province. The correct number is 135. 

© 2014 Shaw Media

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