August 9, 2018 6:34 pm

Wildfire burning near Hope closes provincial park, cancels popular race

The wildfire burning near Hope, B.C., on August 9.


A wildfire burning near Hope, B.C., has forced the closure of a provincial park to protect public safety.

The 50-hectare wildfire, burning at Silvertipped Creek, has prompted the closure of Skagit Valley Provincial Park.

On Wednesday, August 8, the lightning-caused wildfire is now burning about 1.3 kilometres from Silvertip Campground and about one kilometre from the Skagit Valley Provincial Park access road.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2018: Current location of wildfires around the province

Strong winds are in the forecast for Friday and they could put the Silvertip Campground and park road access at risk. As a result, campers are being evacuated and the park will remain closed until further notice.

In addition, the wildfire also affects the popular endurance race, the Fat Dog 120, which has been cancelled.

READ MORE: Campfire ban violators rack up $43,000 in fines over B.C. Day long weekend

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With wildfires raging across B.C., virtually every region of the province is under a campfire ban.

But people don’t seem to be getting the message.

The B.C. Conservation Officers Service (COS) handed out 42 tickets over the B.C. Day long weekend to people having fires, worth more than $43,000 in total.

Breaking the ban can net you a $1,150 fine, a significant increase from two years ago when the penalty was $345.

Campfires are currently banned everywhere in B.C., except within part of the Prince George Fire Centre’s jurisdiction and the fog zone on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555, or *5555 on a cellphone.

— with files from Simon Little

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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