People gather on the side of the highway to watch a forest fire burn near Revelstoke B.C. on Saturday August 19, 2017. Restrictions on travel to British Columbia’s backcountry and bans on campfires were lifted in some parts of the province on Wednesday as improved conditions lowered the wildfire risk.

People gather on the side of the highway to watch a forest fire burn near Revelstoke B.C. on Saturday August 19, 2017. Restrictions on travel to British Columbia’s backcountry and bans on campfires were lifted in some parts of the province on Wednesday as improved conditions lowered the wildfire risk.
Photo Credit: PC / JASON FRANSON

British Columbia wildfire triggers evacuation order affecting 1,100 people near Kelowna

Share

Authorities in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia issued an evacuation order affecting about 1,100 people living east of the city of Kelowna Thursday because of the threat of a wildfire.

Fire crews from the Joe Rich, Kelowna, Ellison and Lake Country departments in the provinces interior along with the BC Wildfire Service were fighting the blaze that was reported shortly after 1:30 p.m.

The wildfire service says the blaze located roughly 25 kilometres from Okanagan Lake has grown to about 380 hectares in size. Authorities are investigating the cause but it’s suspected to be human-caused.

A reception centre for evacuees was being set up at a church in Kelowna.

BC Wildfire Service information chief Kevin Skrepnek said 154 fires are currently burning in the province, including 20 new fires that started Wednesday. Since April 1, the province has registered 1,099 fires in what has been a record-setting wildfire season so far, Skrepnek said.

Trees burned by wildfire are seen in this aerial view from a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau views areas affected by fire near Williams Lake, B.C., on Monday, July 31, 2017.
Trees burned by wildfire are seen in this aerial view from a Canadian Forces Chinook helicopter as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau views areas affected by fire near Williams Lake, B.C., on Monday, July 31, 2017. © PC/DARRYL DYCK

The fires have destroyed about 10,262 square kilometres of forests, and area the size of Lebanon.

Authorities have deployed about 3,800 people, including more than 600 reinforcements from outside of the province, as well as 172 aircraft to fight the blazes.

The largest fire in the province’s recorded history continues to burn on the Fraser Plateau and covers an area of about 4,570 square kilometres.

More than 400 firefighters, backed up by more 150 pieces of heavy equipment, are fighting the blaze.

Stormy weather with wind gusts of up to 80 km/h makes the job of putting out the fires even more difficult, Skrepnek said.

The province’s coastal areas and the interior have received some rain in recent days but not enough to smother the wildfires. And the strong winds that the weather system brought with it remain the wildcard, Skrepnek said.

In the meantime, calmer conditions in other parts of the province have allowed authorities to reopen some of the backcountry sites and trails in the B.C. interior, Skrepnek said.

However, some restrictions remain around active fire areas, where authorities have set up 5- to 10-kilometre buffer zones.

Share
Categories: Environment, Society
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*