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an estimated 59 kilometres east of Vernon, remain active and will remain in place until Sept. 15 or until they are rescinded.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

Sidney sets up temporary rest stop for truck drivers transporting critical supplies

Drivers can rest, find washrooms, access nearby restaurants

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

COVID-19: Health care workers seek alternative housing options to prevent families from getting sick

Volunteers, residents and businesses step up to provide frontline workers with alternative housing

BC Parks Foundation organizes virtual picnic for the province

Join a B.C.-wide picnic online Saturday, March 28

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read