September 13, 2018 1:23 pm
Updated: September 13, 2018 8:05 pm

B.C. Wildfires: Help from Canadian armed forces no longer needed

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Rain and cool weather the past two weeks has dampened wildfire season in B.C.

Today, there are 415 wildfires burning in the province. On Friday, August 31st, there were 518 wildfires.

Further, with autumn weather almost here, assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces is no longer needed to help fight fires. And on Thursday, their withdrawal began.

“The province has officially notified Public Safety Canada that there is no longer a need for Canadian Armed Forces assistance in combating wildfires throughout the province,” said B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “This will now enable the orderly withdrawal of ground troops, command personnel, aircraft and equipment.

“We are incredibly fortunate to enjoy such a strong relationship with our federal counterparts and are grateful for their full consideration and immediate response.”

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

On August 31st, B.C. Wildfire Service had responded to 2,015 wildfires since April 1st. As of Thursday, September 13th, that number had climbed to 2,066.

In the Kamloops Fire Centre, which includes the Okanagan, there have been 425 fires to date this season, second-most in the province. And while it may not seem like it, there are 68 wildfires still currently burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

The Prince George fire centre has the most fires to date at 446 with the Southeast fire centre having the third most at 442.

In the Okanagan, there are no wildfires of note, though there are three in the Similkameen: the Cool Creek wildfire; the Old Tom Creek wildfire; and the Snowy Mountain wildfire.

OKANAGAN

No wildfires of note.

SIMILKAMEEN

Cool Creek

  • Location: 35 kilometres west of Keremeos.
  • Size: 13,626 hectares.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Status: Active, classified as being held. One hundred and 98 personnel on site and 11 pieces of heavy equipment.
  • BCWS notes: “Access is challenged due to the remoteness and lack of roads in the area of the fire. Steep slopes, danger trees and rolling debris along the scree slopes. Mop up continued on all flanks and ground crews extinguished hot spots found along the control line. Crews will extinguish hot spots as they are found and demobilize where necessary. Danger tree assessing and falling continues in the areas where the crews are working.”

Old Tom Creek

  • Location: Seven kilometres west of Olalla.
  • Size: 1,380 hectares.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Status: Active, classified as being held. Nineteen personnel on site along with four helicopters.
  • BCWS notes: “Community members can still expect to see smoke within the perimeter over the coming weeks. This is common with large wildfires and will continue until the region receives significant rainfall or snowfall. If smoke is seen coming from well within a fire’s perimeter and the area is surrounded by black, burned material, this is typically not a concern.”

Snowy Mountain

  • Location: 14 kilometres south of Keremeos.
  • Size: 1,7670 hectares.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Status: Active; classified as being held. No personnel on site, though there are four helicopters assigned to the region.

BOUNDARY

Bulldog Mountain

  • Location: 32 kilometres northwest of Castlegar.
  • Size: 2,125 hectares.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Status: Active. Fifty-one personnel on site, along with 12 helicopters and two pieces of heavy equipment.
  • BCWS notes: “Heavy equipment will continue to wrap up construction of the contingency guard around Renata today. Crews will continue to mop up and patrol the northwest and southeast containment lines today. Bucketing helicopters will continue to support as required and as visibility allows.”

Syringa Creek

  • Location: 16 kilometres northwest of Castlegar.
  • Size: 3,193 hectares.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Status: Active. One hundred and 23 personnel on site with 12 helicopters.
  • BCWS notes: “Crews continued to mop up the recent successful hand ignition burn off operation on the southwest corner. Crews were also able to burn off sections of unburnt fuel on the southeast flank yesterday. Crews also established two additional helicopter pads yesterday.”

Deer Creek

  • Location: 35 kilometres northwest of Castlegar.
  • Size: 4,046 hectares.
  • Cause: Lightning.
  • Status: Active. Eighty-one personnel on site with 12 helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment.
  • BCWS notes: “Heavy equipment made progress on a section of the northern flank in the Twobit Creek drainage. Crews continued to mop up sections of the southern flank. Heavy equipment also made progress working on the eastern flank.”

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