BC Wildfires Rage On; Province-Wide State Of Emergency Declared

Posted July 11, 2017

More than 1,000 firefighters are now deployed to help fight fires across B.C. Another 300 firefighters and support staff are set to arrive from Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta on Monday.

The Red Cross has started a fires appeal to help provide immediate relief such as cots, blankets, family reunification and financial assistance for food, clothing and personal needs. The fire continues to spread, spanning almost 1,500 hectares of land.

100 Mile Fire Rescue is attending a wildfire that has broken out west of town.

As Western Canada's British Columbia battled 220 wildfires scattered across the province on Sunday, officials warned that they expect greater devastation with forecasts of more hot, dry weather over the coming week.

Structures have been lost to the Gustafsen Lake fire in the South Cariboo, confirms Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond.

It's hard to tell with certainty whether climate change is the culprit, but the current patterns are consistent with climate-change predictions for fire activity made 20 years ago, said Daniels.

Todd Stone, British Columbia's chief for emergency management, released a statement on Saturday, July 8, regarding the province's decision to declare a state of emergency. "It was just a frightening thing to behold", he said.

HAPPENING NOW: Ashcroft-Cache Creek editor Barbara Roden gives an update on the Ashcroft fire.

Evacuation orders have been issued for the communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Princeton, 105 Mile House and 108 Mile House, while other communities have been placed under evacuation alert, such as 100 Mile House and 150 Mile House.

A provincewide state of emergency was declared on Friday after 140 new fires broke out, in part due to a significant lightning system that hit central B.C. About 100 new fires broke out on Saturday.

Numerous new wildfires originated from lightning, while some stemmed from people sparking the flames, he said.

He says numerous fires were started by lightning, but some are human-caused.

One hundred and twenty firefighters are now working on the construction of ramparts on the eastern flank of the fire, the closest to the evacuated communities.

Daniels says the fire danger ratings throughout the southern two-thirds of BC are very high to extreme, from the coast right through to the Rocky Mountains.

John Ranta, who is also the chair of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, says the 700-hectare blaze is rapidly approaching the community.