No end in sight for wildfire emergency in British Columbia

Wildfires are continuing to tear through British Columbia one month after the provincial government declared a state of emergency.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said the province has seen 904 fires since April 1 and most of the major blazes wreaking havoc are ones that prompted the state of emergency declaration July 7.

“We have a lot of people out there doing everything they can to contain fires, to keep people out of harm’s ways,” he said. “This is a natural disaster and unfortunately it’s going to be natural factors that are going to decide when a lot of these fires start to really calm down.”

Dry conditions are forecast in the coming days, but Skrepnek said inflow winds from the ocean should finally clear smoky air from the south coast ahead of next weekend.

There is a chance a low pressure system will roll in next week bringing cooler temperatures and some rain, although the change could also cause fire-fuelling winds, Skrepnek said.

Among the month-long lasting fires includes the massive 1,100-square-kilometre Elephant Hill blaze near Ashcroft, B.C., which is believed to be human caused and remains under investigation.

Read more at the Toronto Star

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