PLEASE NOTE: As of Sept. 4, 2023, this list is no longer being updated. For the most up-to-date information, visit the BC Wildfire Service.
British Columbia is in the midst of its worst wildfire season ever, with a provincial state of emergency now in place.
There are currently 430 fires burning across the province, including 14 wildfires of note that are highly visible or pose a threat to communities and residents.
The 2023 season has shattered all previous records for the number of hectares burned, with more than 2.2 million hectares torched as of Sept. 4.
“The weather we experienced in the southern part of the province over the last number of days is a sign that we are slowly moving beyond the worst part of this wildfire season, but we must approach this with a balanced perspective,” said Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Minister Bowinn Ma at an Aug. 31 press conference.
“The rain provided our firefighters a chance to breathe, but we are still far from being in the clear.”
Evacuation orders and alerts
A list of current evacuation alerts and orders, issued by municipalities and regional districts, is available on EmergencyInfoBC.
In the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, which encompasses Burns Lake, Houston and Smithers, evacuation alerts and orders are in place for the Big Creek, Tatuk Lake, Lucas Lake, Wells Creek, and Tekaiziyis Ridge wildfires. Evacuation alerts are also in place for the Bivouac Creek, John Brown Creek, Peacock Creek, and Finger Lake wildfires.
In the Cariboo region, which encompasses Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House, evacuation alerts are in effect for the Gatcho Lake and Twist Creek wildfires. The Ulkatcho First Nation has issued an alert for Gatcho Lake as well.
In the Central Coast Regional District, which includes Bella Coola, evacuation alerts are in effect for the Dean River and Trumpeter Mountain wildfires.
In the Central Okanagan, multiple alerts and orders are in effect for the McDougall Creek wildfire in the West Kelowna area. One or more alerts are also in place for the McNaughton Road Area fire and Walroy Lake fire.
In the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, many evacuation alerts and orders are in place for the massive and sprawling Bush Creek East wildfire. Local First Nations have issued orders and alerts as well.
In the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, where Prince George is located, and in and Nak’azdli Whut’en, evacuation alerts are in place for the Great Beaver Lake fire.
In the Fraser Valley Regional District, evacuation alerts in place for the Kookipi Creek wildfire. There are no more evacuation orders in effect for the wildfire as of Mon. Sept. 4.
In the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, evacuation alerts and an evacuation order have been issued in relation to several wildfires in the area, including the Tooga Creek and Kotcho Lake wildfire and the Fort Nelson River wildfire.
In the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, plus the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, evacuation alerts are in effect for the Upper Park Rill Creek and Crater Creek wildfires.
In the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and Tsal’alh Government, evacuation alerts and an order are in place for the Casper Creek fire. An evacuation order remains in effect for the Downton Lake fire near Gold Bridge as well. The district has issued an order for the Gillanders Creek and Crater Creek wildfire, while the Lower Similkameen Indian Band has issued an alert.
In the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, evacuation alerts remain in place for the Ross Moore Lake, Stein Mountain, Kookipi Creek and Adams complex wildfires. Evacuation orders are in place for the Bush Creek East fire as well, issued by the district and Skwlāx te Secwepemcúl̓ecw.
The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine has an alert issued for the John Brown Creek wildfire.
The Province of British Columbia and Liard First Nation have issued evacuation orders for the Little Blue River wildfire near the border with the Northwest Territories.
Wildfires of note
PRINCE GEORGE FIRE CENTRE
The Whitefish Lake wildfire was discovered on July 11 and has grown to 5,678 hectares. It is burning northwest of Fort St. James near Stuart Lake and is believed to have been caused by lightning. Firefighters, heavy equipment and structure protection specialists are on site, backed by 17 helicopters in the fire zone.
The Great Beaver Lake fire, which started on July 8, is burning out of control at roughly 10,797 hectares and is suspected to be caused by lightning. Wildfire service crews, heavy equipment and structure protection have been deployed, along with 17 helicopters in the same zone.
The Tatuk Lake wildfire, discovered on July 8, has grown to 18,821 hectares in size. The fire is believed to have been caused by lightning. Firefighters and heavy equipment are on site with support from 16 helicopters in the fire zone.
The Big Creek wildfire is mapped at 66,214 hectares. It is burning northeast of Germansen Landing near the Omineca River. The wildfire was upgraded to a fire of note on Sept. 3. There are nine helicopters and 10 pieces of heavy equipment with three attack crews and two unit crews. Twenty military personnel are on site as well.
The North Lucas Lake wildfire, detected July 10, has reached 7,495 hectares in size. Seventeen helicopters are responding to its zone as well as structure protection specialists.
KAMLOOPS FIRE CENTRE
The sprawling Bush Creek East fire, discovered on July 12 and located about 23 kilometres northwest of Chase, spans 43,084 hectares. Many evacuation alerts and orders are still in effect. There are 187 wildland firefighters and 50 support staff on scene, along with 55 pieces of heavy equipment, 20 structure protection personnel, and 11 helicopters in the zone.
The Ross Moore Lake wildfire, located approximately 10 km south of Kamloops, is sized at 11,062 hectares. On scene are 121 wildland firefighters, 35 pieces of heavy equipment, structure protection personnel and 11 helicopters in the zone.
The McDougall Creek, which wildfire flared up on Aug. 15 near West Kelowna, is currently estimated at 13,712 hectares. Responding to the fire, which is part of the Grouse wildfire complex, are 251 wildland firefighters, 35 field staff, 45 pieces of heavy equipment, six structure protection personnel and 12 helicopters. The blaze destroyed just under 200 structures in the Central Okanagan.
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The Upper Park Rill Creek fire, located between Okanagan Falls and Keremeos, was spotted on Aug. 18 and is currently sized at 2,043 hectares. Fifty-five wildland firefighters, four danger tree fallers and six helicopters are working to contain it. An incident management team has also been assigned to the Crater complex.
The Crater Creek wildfire, discovered on July 22, is sized at 46,504 hectares and is burning around 18 km south of Keremeos. Ten firefighters are responding, along with seven helicopters in the zone.
The Downton Lake wildfire is burning roughly 10 km west of Gold Bridge, and is sized at 9,393 hectares. That fire is part of the Bendor Range complex, which also includes the Casper Creek and Blackhills wildfires. An incident management team, 49 firefighters, five pieces of heavy equipment, and 22 structural protection personnel are all responding, as well as the 10 helicopters tackling the complex.
The Casper Creek fire, located 24 km west of Lillooet, is an estimated 10,982 hectares and has a suspected cause of lightning. On scene are 38 wildland firefighters, two pieces of heavy equipment, 19 structural protection personnel and 10 helicopters in the zone.
The Stein Mountain wildfire is roughly 15 km northwest of Lytton and is an estimated 4,667 hectares. Its suspected cause is lightning. The blaze is part of the Canyon wildfire complex. Thirty-two firefighters, three pieces of heavy equipment, and seven helicopters are on-scene.
COASTAL FIRE CENTRE
The Kookipi Creek wildfire is burning 18,045 hectares of land roughly 25 km south of Lytton. On scene are 92 wildland firefighters, 16 operational field staff, 24 pieces of heavy equipment, six structure protection personnel and seven helicopters.
SOUTHEAST FIRE CENTRE
There are no current wildfires of note in the Southeast Fire Centre.
CARIBOO FIRE CENTRE
There are no current wildfires of note within the Cariboo Fire Centre.
A provincial state of emergency remains in effect throughout the province.
As of Thursday, Aug. 31, roughly 4,200 British Columbians are under evacuation orders, with 60,000 on evacuation alert.