The BC Government says the province is now dealing with the worst wildfire season on record.
Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service said in a conference call Thursday fires around British Columbia have now burned more area than any other season to date.
“Since April 1st, we’ve responded to 2,015 fires across the province that have burned an estimated 1,252,000 hectares,” Skrepnek says. “Of course, the previous record was last year, where we had 1,216,000 hectares burnt.”
Skrepnek says that number jumped pretty significantly a few days ago.
“We had been estimating it closer to about 970,000 hectares,” Skrepnek says. “That jump in numbers wasn’t due to a dramatic increase in fire activity or anything like that. It was simply just based on better mapping on a lot of these fires.”
518 wildfires are burning throughout the Province, including some significant fires in the East Kootenay.
The 9,200 hectare Meachen Creek Fire continues to burn, as an evacuation ALERT in the city of Kimberley and 40 properties east of Lakeside/Lakefront Road in the St Mary Valley remains in place.
An evacuation ORDER for 25 properties to the west of that area is also still in effect.
Elsewhere, an evacuation ALERT still stands for one property near Yahk due to the over 1,000 hectare Randal Creek fire and for nine properties near Radium, including Nipika Mountain Resort, due to the ongoing Cross River blaze.
– Kevin Skrepnek, BC Wildfire Service