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

Local candidates reflect on campaign; voter turnout hits 72%

Voter turnout in Kootenay-Columbia was strong in the 2019 Canadian general election.… Continue reading

Morrison latest in a long line of MPS (including Parker and Graham)

Congratulations to Rob Morrison on his election victory Monday, Oct. 21, in… Continue reading

Morrison wins Kootenay-Columbia for Conservative Party

Unofficial results peg 28,495 votes for Morrison with 98 per cent of polls reporting Monday evening

UPDATE: Morrison wins Kootenay-Columbia by more than 7,000 votes

Elections Canada is reporting a 72% voter turnout

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

VicPD return Victoria fugitive from France for attempted murder trial

Sebastien Normandin, 49, charged with attempts to hit former girlfriend with car

At the Cranbrook Public Library

Mike Selby At the time of his death, Stieg Larsson (‘The Girl… Continue reading

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Teck announces roll out of electric buses for Elk Valley operations

Hon. Michelle Mungall says it’s great to see Teck taking action on climate change

Most Read