The Wentworth Creek fire. (BC Wildfire Service)

B.C. wildfire crews prepare for scorching August

Smoke is expectected to hit the previously untouched south coast this week

B.C. is on the cusp of a heat wave, officials say, with several new and aggressive wildfires reported over the past few days.

The south coast, which has largely escaped the negative effects of the wildfire season, is expected to be hit with smoke on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We have at least a month of this left, if not longer,” chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek told reporters on Monday. “August is historically one of our busiest times.”

READ: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits Williams Lake

Skrepnek said potentially gusty winds are expected for the southern part of the province in the coming days. The southeastern portion can expect some dry lightning to ago along with it.

The province is fighting 149 wildfires as of July 31, he added. With 426,000 hectares burned since the start of the fire season, 2017 has shaped up as the third worst season since records began. Only 1958 and 1961 have exceeded it.

twitter.com

Police are investigating Sunday’s Knox Mountain fire, believed to be human-caused. RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau said reports have come of potential suspects and witnesses, but that the investigation is still in its early stages.

“It’s too early to say if this fire could be connected to any other fires in the area,” said Linteau.

One of B.C.’s most aggressive blazes continues to challenge firefighters, Skrepnek said. The Elephant Hill wildfire sits at 78,540 hectares burned, with more than 360 firefighters assigned to the half-contained blaze.

RELATED: “Things went fairly well overnight” on Elephant Hill fire

The wildfire that started on Sunday south of Canal Flats (between Invermere and Cranbook on Hwy. 95) isn’t threatening any homes yet, Skrepnek added, but a cell tower is at risk.

“It’s currently estimated at 150 hectares in size,” said Skrepnek, noting that it has likely grown beyond that now. “It’s generating so much smoke that we aren’t able to get an accurate picture.”

www.twitter.com

Just Posted

A Q&A with B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson

The Vancouver-Quilchena MLA stopped in Cranbrook to address Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday

Election 2018: Rasmussen running for city council

Former RCMP officer seeking a seat at the city council table

Jumbo’s legal boondoggle continues

Province appealing the BC Supreme Court decision

Cranbrook introduces draft cannabis bylaws

As legalization date approaches, there remains more questions than answers, say staff

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Still too many B.C. seniors in care facilities, or at home on drugs

Seniors Advocate watching use of antipsychotics, opioids

Officials: 3 killed in shooting at Maryland Rite Aid centre

FBI described the Aberdeen incident as an ‘active shooter situation’

The hunt for online herb: feds seek dope on hazy world of pot’s ‘cryptomarket’

In less than a month, Canada to be first industrialized country to legalize recreational marijuana

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Most Read