Satellite view of smoke from British Columbia wildfires on 7 August 2018. Photo: NASA Worldview

5 August 2018 (The Weather Network) – With the number of fires burning across the province rapidly approaching the 500 mark, officials in British Columbia are recruiting help from out of the province – and even out of the country – as they do battle with 2018's intense wildfire season. The more than 2,200 crew members already engaged in the fire response effort will be joined by crews from as far away as New Zealand and Australia in the coming week. In all, more than 200 personnel from across Canada and from other countries will join firefighting efforts over the next week.

As of Sunday afternoon, 19 wildfires 'of note' – those considered a threat to people and/or property – were burning in the province. While last week's upper level trough brought some much-needed rain to the parched province, days of thunderstorms did more harm than good. According to Environment Canada, tens of thousands of lightning strikes were recorded in B.C. in the last days of July and first days of August. It's no coincidence that nearly 200 of the currently-active fires were first discovered in the last week. [more]

B.C. bringing in overseas help as hundreds of wildfires rage


Fire Danger Map for Canada, 8 August 2018. Graphic: National Resources Canada

6 August 2018 (CBC) – Two more communities were ordered evacuated Sunday as wildfires continue to threaten properties in northwestern British Columbia.

The B.C. Wildfire Service said 25 fires are currently burning in the Cassiar fire zone, including the Alkali and Elbow Lake wildfires.

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine ordered the evacuation of Telegraph Creek and the surrounding areas due to the Alkali Lake fire, which is now 2,000 hectares in size and growing. […]

"Firefighting efforts throughout the Cassiar fire zone are proving to be very difficult due to high drought codes," a statement from the service read. "Based on 31 years of data, the drought codes are the highest they've ever been at this time of year."

Drought codes, the statement explained, numerically measure moisture content in soils to predict wildfire risks. Higher numbers indicate a greater risk of fire. [more]

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Latest communities evacuated include Telegraph Creek


A B.C. Wildfire Service crew member monitors a controlled burn in the Southern Interior, 6 August 2018. Photo: Canadian Press

7 August 2018 (CBC) – A wildfire burning in Tahltan territory in northern B.C. has reached the community of Telegraph Creek, taking out structures in its path and leaving evacuees and those with connections to the community on edge.

The community was ordered to evacuate on Sunday.

Julien Dusseque stayed behind during the evacuation along with two other men, boating people's belongings and pets to safety and setting up sprinklers to protect buildings. […]

The Alkali Lake fire has been burning in northern B.C. for almost a week and is now about 7,800 hectares in size. It is one of several active fires in the area. The South Stikine River fire is just east of the Alkali Lake fire and is an estimated 6,000 hecatres in size.

Tahltan Chief Rick McLean gave an update to community members in Dease Lake on Tuesday morning, alongside fire officials Hugh Murdoch and Tony Falco.

"What we're dealing with here, it is an act of nature that's very powerful, much akin to … a tornado or a hurricane. We are very limited to what we can do," said Falco, deputy fire centre manager, during the community update.

"We've got one hell of a fire in a really bad place," said Murdoch, a forest protection officer. [more]

'We've got one hell of a fire in a really bad place': Alkali Lake fire hits Telegraph Creek

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