The Wentworth Creek fire. (BC Wildfire Service)

B.C. wildfire crews prepare for scorching August

Smoke is expectected to hit the previously untouched south coast this week

B.C. is on the cusp of a heat wave, officials say, with several new and aggressive wildfires reported over the past few days.

The south coast, which has largely escaped the negative effects of the wildfire season, is expected to be hit with smoke on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We have at least a month of this left, if not longer,” chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek told reporters on Monday. “August is historically one of our busiest times.”

READ: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Williams Lake

Skrepnek said potentially gusty winds are expected for the southern part of the province in the coming days. The southeastern portion can expect some dry lightning to ago along with it.

The province is fighting 149 wildfires as of July 31, he added. With 426,000 hectares burned since the start of the fire season, 2017 has shaped up as the third worst season since records began. Only 1958 and 1961 have exceeded it.

twitter.com

Police are investigating Sunday’s Knox Mountain fire, believed to be human-caused. RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau said reports have come of potential suspects and witnesses, but that the investigation is still in its early stages.

“It’s too early to say if this fire could be connected to any other fires in the area,” said Linteau.

One of B.C.’s most aggressive blazes continues to challenge firefighters, Skrepnek said. The Elephant Hill wildfire sits at 78,540 hectares burned, with more than 360 firefighters assigned to the half-contained blaze.

RELATED: “Things went fairly well overnight” on Elephant Hill fire

The wildfire that started on Sunday south of Canal Flats (between Invermere and Cranbook on Hwy. 95) isn’t threatening any homes yet, Skrepnek added, but a cell tower is at risk.

“It’s currently estimated at 150 hectares in size,” said Skrepnek, noting that it has likely grown beyond that now. “It’s generating so much smoke that we aren’t able to get an accurate picture.”

www.twitter.com

Just Posted

Mills Memorial Hospital financing formula released

Regional taxpayers to pay $113.7 million for new facility.

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

How the provincial budget will play out in northwestern B.C.

Price of gasoline to rise and expect MSP premiums to disppear

NDP budget offers no way to pay for new programs: Ellis Ross

MLA highly critical of government’s abandonment of major projects

New hospital cost to taxpayers still unknown

Ellis to probe budget estimates: “I’m still not convinced it will actually go ahead”

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

Coroner says no foul play suspected in death of 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto

Most Read