132587
132138

BC  

Fire activity flares up

Crews battling wildfires across B.C. braced Friday for intense activity on some of the nearly 600 blazes in the province after the Wildfire Service issued a warning of extreme fire behaviour.

The warning can be issued when high heat and a lack of rain combine to strip humidity from the air, said information officer Forrest Tower.

"When (humidity) drops below a certain percentage that's when we start to see increased fire behaviour as the fuels start to dry out. Because all our fuels are already pretty dry, when there is no humidity to help out, it just increases fire behaviour," Tower said.

The warning was issued for a 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred an area from Fraser Lake to Fort St. James in the northern Interior. Tower said gusty winds were also forecast Friday, adding to the potential for dangerous fire behaviour.

High winds were also a key reason for an evacuation alert issued Thursday night to about 4,500 residents of Kimberley as a 56-square-kilometre wildfire pushed north towards the city. 

"Everyone has learned a lot from last year," said Tower, referring to evacuation orders and alerts that affected tens of thousands living in B.C.'s Central and Southern Interior during the 2017 wildfire season.

"I think they just definitely want to be ahead of the game. ... They just want everyone to be aware that there is a fire in (the) area, so they want to be really proactive with evacuation alerts, so people are well aware of the situation."

He added: "It doesn't mean that you have to panic."

Fort St. James is one of the many communities in north and central B.C. threatened by the largest wildfire, called the Shovel Lake fire. Tower said roughly 1,700 residents are anxious after weeks of being on evacuation alert.

"When a large community is put on evacuation alert for quite some time, we call it alert fatigue," he said.

"It kind of sets in when people are constantly stressing about when or if an evacuation order gets put into place and it can increase stress levels quite a bit."

The BC Wildfire Service also tweeted that it is seeing an increase in fire activity in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which was hard hit by major blazes in 2017, because temperatures are rising, relative humidity is dropping and winds are starting to kick up.



More BC News

BC
59724
Vancouver Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
56309
Recent Trending
59189
Okanagan Oldies
58227
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
56459



59126
59608