Worst may be over for ‘B.C.’s worst fire season’

Cooling temps and the declining risk of dry lightning have lead to reduced fire activity.

While 12 wildfires continue to burn in the Monashee Complex — which ranges from south of Highway 6 to Three Valley Gap — officials say the worst may be over.

Related: Worst may almost be over for 2018 B.C. wildfire season

Now ranked the worst wildfire season in B.C.’s history with nearly 1.3 million hectares of forest burned as of Aug. 29, cooling temperatures and the declining risk of dry lightning have lead to reduced fire activity.

The Monashee Complex began with 27 wildfires blazing. Of the 12 that continue to burn, the Mabel Creek fire located approximately 47 kilometres east of Salmon Arm remains the largest at 1,370 hectares.

“A new guard is being constructed at the end of the sprinkler line and the sprinkler line is being reworked,” the Service said of their efforts to quell the blaze.

Previous closures, including to the Mabel Lake Forest Service Road closure and Cottonwood Beach, Cascades Falls and Johnston Bay recreation site, have since been lifted. However, area restrictions for crown land in the vicinity of both the Mabel Creek wildfire and the Sugar Mountain wildfire, burning at 394 hectares an estimated 59 kilometres east of Vernon, remain active and will remain in place until Sept. 15 or until they are rescinded.

Meanwhile, the Harris Creek wildfire southeast of Lumby is now considered held.

Related: Harris Creek wildfire now held

The BC Wildfire Service said Sunday afternoon that they no longer expect the wildfire to grow beyond its current perimeter.

The Harris Creek fire is an estimated 858 hectares in size. There are currently 78 firefighters and three pieces of heavy equipment battling the blaze.

“Crews will continue to direct attack on the flanks of the fire and blackline the remaining unworked sections along the east excursion,” the Service said. “Canadian Armed Forces will continue to mop-up and patrol.”

There are two helicopters assigned to the entire Monashee Complex that will be used interchangeably between wildfires depending on the need. An IMT is in place managing the response operations to the complex of wildfires.

Despite cooling temperatures and reduced fire activity across the province, Environment Canada said people should remain wary of smoke.

Special air quality statements were released for the North Okanagan Monday, Sept. 3. Smoke is expected to return heavily Wednesday, Sept. 5 with northern winds blowing smoke from the fires in Washington State.

Air quality is expected to be at a moderate level in the North Okanagan this week and children, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions should take precautions.

Temperatures are expected to hover around 20C, hitting a high of 28C on Thursday.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

History made in draw 1 of 2020 New Holland Canadian Junior Championship in Langley

Champion curler Carly Smith is an amputee competing with other able bodied athletes

Critter Care calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Olatoke sets new Spartans record in Edmonton

Langley-based university off to a good start at Golden Bear Open

VIDEO: Newbie Giants helps defeat Victoria 4-1 in Langley Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice at LEC on Sunday afternoon

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Most Read