The Wood Lake Wildfire

Wood Lake Wildfire out

Forest fire season across B.C. winding down thanks to recent rain

By Tom Fletcher

Black Press

Campfire bans have been lifted for most of B.C. heading into the Labour Day weekend, and rain in most areas of the province has helped crews make progress on most of the 176 fires burning in B.C. as of Monday.

Campfire bans are lifted in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres, although restrictions continue on use of burn barrels and fireworks. No fire bans remain across northern B.C., and the only remaining campfire ban is in the Cariboo fire centre for areas west of the Fraser River.

Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the B.C. Wildfire Service, cautioned that areas of high and extreme fire danger remain in the Chilcotin, South Thompson River valley and the southern part of the Prince George fire centre. But continued cool weather and showers this week offer some relief for communities and firefighters.

“Just about all our major fires took at least a little bit of rain over the weekend, and this has certainly made some significant progress,” Skrepnek said.

Some of the most threatening fires have eased. Evacuation orders for the Testalinden Creek fire near Oliver were downgraded to alerts Monday, and alerts were lifted for Grand Forks and Christina Lake as B.C. and U.S. crews made progress on the Stickpin fire burning near the border in Washington.

The Wood Lake wildfire west of Harrison Lake is now 100 per cent contained. Crews are still on scene patrolling hot spots.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary lifted evacuation alerts Monday for the Rock Creek fire, which previously damaged or destroyed 30 homes.

The B.C. Wildfire Service responded to seven new fires over the weekend, some suspected to be human caused.

Total cost and damage for the 2015 forest fire season continues to track at a similar pace as last year, with 296,000 hectares burned and $255 million spent as of Monday. That’s above the 10-year average for B.C. fires, but lower than the worst seasons in recent years, in 2003 and 2009.

Just Posted

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Chilliwack teen to take on the world after winning Canadian junior dog-handling national championship

Chilliwack’s Kayla Penney is heading to Crufts to compete for her first international title

Country talent Petunia returns to Bozzini’s in Chilliwack Saturday

Petunia, performing Nov. 17, is referred to as ‘The Savior of Country Music’

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

Most Read