VICTORIA - With a significant number of wildfires burning around B.C., the Province continues to caution all British Columbians to be diligent with fire safety and to report all wildfires to authorities.
- The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has expanded an Evacuation Order & Alert for the Puntzi Lake area due to the expansion and aggressive behaviour of the Puntzi Lake wildfire.
- A Smoky Skies Advisory has been issued for the Northeast Region of B.C., particularly the North Peace and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.
Update on fire activity and impacts:
There were 48 new wildfires in B.C. yesterday. As of noon today, there were 251 active wildfires across the province (of these, 22 are active fires of note), with six states of local emergency due to wildfire, and 13 Evacuation Alerts and Orders currently in effect.
As of July 12, 2015 over 141 properties in the province were on Evacuation Order with approximately 658 homes and an estimated 300 residents of Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek) First Nations on Evacuation Alert. These numbers will fluctuate as orders and alerts are put into place or rescinded. For all current Evacuation Alerts and Orders in B.C., see: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
Evacuation Orders currently exist in these areas:
- Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, affecting three commercial properties and two recreational cabins due to the Boulder Creek wildfire.
- Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, affecting 21 seasonal homes due to Dog Mountain wildfire.
- Cariboo Regional District, affecting approximately 90 residences due to Puntzi Lake wildfire (2).
- Sunshine Coast Regional District, affecting 18 properties due to the Old Sechelt Mine wildfire.
Evacuation Alerts exist in these areas:
- Regional District of Central Kootenay due to the Mount Aylwin wildfire south of Silverton, affecting 17 homes.
- Regional District of Central Kootenay due to the Sitkum Creek wildfire north of Kootenay Lake, affecting 367 homes.
- Regional District of East Kootenay due to the wildfire in Harrogate area north of Highway 95, between Harrogate and Brisco, affecting 50 homes (2).
- Cariboo Regional District due to the Puntzi Lake wildfire northwest of Williams Lake, affecting 183 homes
- Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek FN) due to the Puntzi Lake fire affecting an estimated 300 residents.
- Fraser Valley Regional District due to the Cougar Creek wildfire south of the Nahatlach River, affecting 34 recreational cabins.
- Northern Rockies Regional Municipality due to the Petitot River wildfire northeast of Fort Nelson, affecting an oil and gas camp.
States of local emergency for wildfires exist in the following areas:
- Regional District of East Kootenay (2).
- Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.
- Sunshine Coast Regional District.
- Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.
- Cariboo Regional District.
Wildfire smoke advisories and air quality status:
The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with regional health authorities, has ended all Air Quality Advisories for the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands, Port Alberni and the Comox Valley as air quality conditions have improved due to a change in weather.
Smoky Skies Advisories have been issued for most of the Southern Interior as well as the Northeast Region of B.C., particularly the North Peace and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. For information on current air quality readings in B.C. please visit: www.bcairquality.ca
Did you know?
- Since April 1, 2015, B.C. has had 1,065 fires, more than double the 462 wildfires reported in the same time period in 2014.
- Over 1,000 of B.C.’s firefighters are deployed across the province, and over 700 contract firefighters are helping to fight fires—95 personnel and two aircraft from Ontario are also assisting B.C. crews ensuring they get the rest they need to stay safe.
- B.C.’s firefighters appreciate the expressions of support they are getting from British Columbians. Leave your message of thanks at: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/pscripts/pab/fordisc/view_discussion.asp?TopicID=40
- Given the extraordinary fire situation this year, Government is using every “tool in its toolbox”—effective July 11, 2015, the B.C. government is entering into a one-month agreement with the Coulson Group to use the Martin Mars airtanker to supplement B.C.’s airtanker fleet.
- BC Parks provides detailed updates on important park closures, campfire bans and general information about current Provincial Park conditions, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/campfire_bans.html
- Human-caused wildfires are preventable and divert firefighting resources from naturally occurring fires—anyone who causes damage to Crown forest or grass land through arson or recklessness can be fined up to $1 million or spend up to three years in prison.
Report all wildfires:
Human-caused wildfires are preventable and the public is B.C.’s first line of defence against wildfires. Please be diligent when in the backcountry, and report all wildfires to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your mobile phone.
- Info on current wildfires and burning bans, as well as fire safety tips: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcwildfire/ and http://ow.ly/PfwC6
- Help prevent wildfires and learn what to do to plan and respond to an Evacuation Alert or Order, visit: http://ow.ly/PoFVn
- The Homeowner’s FireSmart Manual helps inform people on how to reduce the risk of personal property damage due to wildfires: http://ow.ly/PfpqL
- To keep up-to-date on Emergency Alerts & notices, follow @EmergencyInfoBC (mobile.twitter.com) on Twitter.
For wildfire information:
BC Wildfire Services
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Ministry of Environment