70% of B.C. under extreme forest fire danger: province

70% of B.C. under extreme forest fire danger: province

16 August 2010

published by www.vancouversun.com

Canada — Hot, dry conditions continue to fuel forest fires across B.C., said provincial fire information officer Alyson Crouch.

Weather conditions have boosted the fire danger rating to extreme for 70 per cent of the province, Crouch said.

Two hundred and seventy-six fires were burning in B.C. as of Monday, but “it’s changing by the minute,” she said.

The Cariboo region is suffering from “particularly challenging” fire conditions, she said.

Fires of note in the region include the Pelican Lake complex fire, which has burnt 22,000 hectares of forest, and the Meldrum Creek fire, which has destroyed 39,000 hectares. An evacuation order is in place for residents in both areas.

“There hasn’t been any containment on most of these fires,” Crouch said regarding the Cariboo region.

Even though temperatures are expected to drop by 10 degrees on Wednesday, fire danger will still remain high, she said. Despite the forecast cooling, there are no predictions for rain.

“We’re taking it day by day,” she said.

This season, 175,807 hectares of forest have burned down in B.C.

Six new fires started Monday. Three were caused by lightning, two by people and the cause of one is undetermined.

Campfire bans are in effect wherever the fire rating is extreme. There is a $345 fine for violating the ban.

The provincial government has spent $117 million fighting forest fires so far this year, exceeding its $52-million firefighting budget.

Highway 37 wildfire

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