It was bound to happen: A surge in wildfires across the province.
Until this week, it had been a relatively quiet fire season in British Columbia. And then hot weather rolled in.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, across the province, 32 new fires have sparked to life in the last seven days, including nine in the past 48 hours.
So far this year, there have been 617 fires since April 1. In mid-July, there were 516 fires compared to 730 at the same time last year.
In its season outlook issued earlier this month on Aug. 1, BC Wildfire said for the 2019 fire season, there had been 585 fires, and that 12,661 hectares had been burned.
Fast forward to Aug. 8, and the numbers were 617 fires and just under 20,000 hectares burned.
BC Wildfire called those stats well below normal, stating the number of hectares burned was only 10 per cent of B.C.’s 10-year provincial average.
Fire information officer Erika Berg said at the same point in time during the 2018 fire season, there were 1,564 fires, scorching nearly 119,000 hectares.
There are also 37 active fires in the province, with the Eagle Bluff wildfire in the South Okanagan receiving the most attention.
Below are list of fires in B.C.:
Northwest Fire Centre
- The Barrington River fire is listed at 4,400 hectares in size and is out of control. That fire, located approximately 240 kilometres south of the Yukon border, was discovered on Aug. 4. BC Wildfire says no significant growth has occurred since then.
- The Mehan Lake fire, discovered Aug. 7, is listed at 10 hectares. It is located approximately 270 kilometres north of Prince Rupert. The fire is located on the west side of Highway 37, but BC Wildfire says it is not spreading quickly. Twenty firefighters and one helicopter are currently on scene, with 20 more firefighters en route.
Prince George Fire Centre
There are two new spot fires: The Sutherland Dipper fire (2 hectares, 150 km west of Prince George, discovered Aug. 8) and the Tezzeron Lake fire (0.01 of a hectare, 154 km northwest of Prince George, discovered Aug. 7).
Cariboo Fire Centre
- The Moose Valley Park spot fire (0.01 ha, discovered Aug. 8) is around 26 km west of 100 Mile House.
Southeast Fire Centre
- Two spot fires were discovered on Aug. 7: the Glover Creek fire (0.02 ha) is 17 km north of Grand Forks, while the South of Farstad Way (0.3 ha) fire is located along Highway 95, south of Skookumchuck.
Kamloops Fire Centre
Four new fires came to life this week.
- The Eagle Bluff wildfire (1,500 hectares) began Aug. 4 and is burning 10 km southeast of Okanagan Falls. It is a wildfire of note, and, as of Thursday, there were 124 firefighters on scene, along with air support.
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- The Mount Miller fire (0.8 ha, discovered Aug. 6) is located along the Okanagan Connector, but is considered being held.
- The Cornwall Creek spot fire (0.01 ha, discovered Aug. 8) is 10 km south of Cache Creek, along the Trans-Canada Highway.
- The Fortune Creek spot fire (0.01 ha, discovered Aug. 8) is along Back Enderby Road, just southeast of Enderby.
Coastal Fire Centre
Like the Southern Interior, four new fires came to life this week. However, two are considered out with the other two being under control.
- Sakinaw Lake (3.8 ha, discovered Aug. 5, along the Sunshine Coast) is considered under control.
- Binnicle Avenue Trail spot fire (0.01 ha, discovered Aug. 7, along the Sunshine Coast) is considered out.
- Wahleach Lake (0.01 ha, discovered Aug. 7, 11 km east of Agassiz) is considered out.
- Greendrop Lake spot fire (0.10 ha, discovered Aug. 5, 25 km south of Hope) is considered under control.