Over 200 active wildfires impacting province

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Vancouver: With 220 wildfires burning around B.C., the Province continues to caution all British Columbians to be diligent with fire safety and to report all wildfires to authorities.

New today:

  • The Sunshine Coast Regional District has downgraded the Evacuation Order to an Evacuation Alert for the residents of Carlson Point, due to reduced activity on the Old Sechelt Mine wildfire.
  • Regional District of East Kootenay and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District have lifted their Evacuation Alerts for the Harrogate area, due to reduced activity of the Harrogate wildfire.
  • The State of Local Emergency for the Sunshine Coast Regional District has been cancelled.
  • The Smoky Skies Advisory for the entire Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary areas and for the entire Thompson, Fraser Canyon, Nicola and Shuswap areas have ended due to improved air quality.

Update on fire activity and impacts:

There were 13 new wildfires in B.C. yesterday. As of noon today, there were 220 active wildfires throughout the province (of these, 21 are active fires of note), with three states of local emergency due to wildfire, and 10 Evacuation Alerts and Orders currently in effect.

As of July 13, approximately 115 properties in the province were on Evacuation Order with over 600 homes and an estimated 300 residents of Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek) First Nations on Evacuation Alert. These numbers will fluctuate as orders and alerts are put into place or rescinded. For all current Evacuation Alerts and Orders in B.C., please visit: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

Evacuation Orders currently exist in these areas:

  • Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, affecting three commercial properties and two recreational cabins due to the Boulder Creek wildfire.
  • Cariboo Regional District, affecting approximately 89 residences due to Puntzi Lake wildfire.
  • Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District affecting 21 recreational properties due to the Dog Mountain wildfire.

Evacuation Alerts exist in these areas:

  • Sunshine Coast Regional District, affecting 18 properties due to the Old Sechelt Mine wildfire.
  • Regional District of Central Kootenay due to the Mount Aylwin wildfire south of Silverton, affecting 17 homes.
  • Regional District of Central Kootenay due to the Sitkum Creek wildfire north of Kootenay Lake, affecting 350 homes.
  • Cariboo Regional District due to the Puntzi Lake wildfire northwest of Williams Lake, affecting 184 homes
  • Tsi Del Del (Alexis Creek FN) due to the Puntzi Lake wildfire affecting an estimated 300 residents.
  • Fraser Valley Regional District due to the Cougar Creek wildfire south of the Nahatlach River, affecting 34 recreational cabins.
  • Northern Rockies Regional Municipality due to the Petitot River wildfire northeast of Fort Nelson, affecting an oil and gas camp.

States of local emergency for wildfires exist in the following areas:

  • Cariboo Regional District.
  • Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.
  • Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

Wildfire smoke advisories and air quality status:

The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with regional health authorities, has ended all Air Quality Advisories for the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, Sunshine Coast, Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Southern Gulf Islands, Port Alberni and the Comox Valley as air quality has improved due to a change in weather.

A Smoky Skies Advisory has been issued for the Northeast Region of B.C., particularly the North Peace and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. For information on current air quality readings in B.C. please visit: www.bcairquality.ca

Structure protection unit deployments:

Structural Protection Units (SPUs) are deployed to communities during an interface fire, and contain equipment to dampen roofs and areas around structures in order to prevent sparks and minimize structure damage. Currently, B.C. has deployed:

  • Four Structure Protection Specialists
  • Five Structure Protection Crews
  • Four Structure Protection Equipment Units (SPU)

Report all wildfires:

Human-caused wildfires are preventable and the public is B.C.’s first line of defence against wildfires. Please be diligent when in the backcountry, and report all wildfires to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your mobile phone.