White Rock Lake wildfire on July 25, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service)

White Rock Lake wildfire on July 25, 2021. (BC Wildfire Service)

Wildfire worries continue: Fire risk remains high to extreme over most of southern B.C.

Above average temperatures for many parts of B.C. aren’t expected to ease soon

Wildfire worries continue in the southern and central Interior regions of B.C., with 258 blazes burning, as of Monday morning (July 26).

There have been 1,216 wildfires sparked since April 1, with the province roughly a month ahead of the typical seasonal pace for new fire starts.

A total of 414,262 hectares of land have been burned. Seventy-two out-of-province firefighters, including crews from Mexico, are joining the 3,278 other personnel to battle the blazes.

Meanwhile, much of the Kootenays, Cariboo and Okanagan are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours, with various air quality warnings in effect.

Above average temperatures for many parts of B.C. aren’t expected to ease soon and Environment Canada says there is no hint of showers until at least the weekend for some southern regions hit hard by wildfires.

The weather office predicts lighter winds over several of the most challenging fires, including the 68-square kilometre Nk’Mip Creek blaze in the south Okanagan between Oliver and Osoyoos.

But forecasters say temperatures there won’t budge from the mid- to high-30s all week, and there’s no sign of rain.

Showers could dampen parts of southeast B.C., where fires on both sides of Upper Arrow Lake have forced evacuation orders or alerts for hundreds of properties.

However, Environment Canada says the chance of rain is just 30 per cent and it won’t come until Saturday at the earliest.

Emergency Management B.C. says 4,260 properties remain on evacuation order across B.C., while residents of just under 18,000 properties have been warned to be ready to leave on short notice.

Active fires by fire centre:

  • Cariboo: 39
  • Coastal: 7
  • Kamloops: 92
  • Northwest: 4
  • Prince George: 48
  • Southeast: 68

Evacuations:

  • Orders: 58
  • Alerts: 83 (+2 from Saturday)
  • Number of properties on order: 4,260 (-143)
  • Number of properties on alert: 17,684 (+195)

– with files from the Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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B.C. Wildfires 2021