Homes at Boston Flats near Ashcroft are among those destroyed by this summer’s wildfires (Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal)

Damage tallied as B.C. wildfire battle continues

Currently more than 400 structures known to be affected

B.C.’s largest wildfire season has affected 220 homes and more than 200 other buildings, with more likely to be found as areas become safe to survey.

Central B.C., where fires continue to rage in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and elsewhere, has 214 identified structures destroyed or damaged. Another 212 have been located in the Northeast and five more in the Southeast, said Chris Duffy of Emergency Management B.C. at Wednesday’s province-wide update on conditions.

The B.C. Wildfire Service had 158 fires on its active map as of Wednesday, with three new starts recorded on Tuesday. The latest estimate of the record total area burned is 11,539 square km, and direct costs to the service have reached $473 million.

The province’s largest fire, the Plateau complex in the northern Chilcotin, remained constant in total area at 5,200 square km, an area approaching the size of Prince Edward Island.

Work continued on the Philpott Road fire, burning in heavy timber and steep terrain southwest of Kelowna after starting at the roadside on Aug. 24.

In the Cariboo, Highway 24 was closed near Lone Butte and Nazko Road west of Quesnel remained closed, with local detours available.

With warm weather and little or no rain in the forecast for southern B.C., smoky conditions continued for much of the province. Inflow winds were expected to clear smoke and bring rain to the South Coast area, but rain was not expected to reach the Southeast region, where fires are active.

Improved visibility did allow the lifting of travel advisories for Highway 1 at Glacier National Park, Highway 93 at Kootenay National Park and Highway 33 near Kelowna.

The backcountry closure remains in effect for the Rocky Mountain resource district in the East Kootenay, due to large fires and limited access roads.

While backcountry bans have been lifted in the Cariboo, Kamloops and Southeast fire centres, access is still discouraged and off-road vehicles are still prohibited.

Just Posted

Bus company eyeing passenger and cargo service departing from Williams Lake, stopping in Quesnel

Merritt Bus Shuttle Services Ltd. would have a driver based in Williams Lake for the route to Prince George

100 Mile House starts getting into the Christmas spirit with Farmer’s Market

Santa Clause will make an appearance during the Christmas Market

100 Mile Wranglers get tripped up by Nelson and Kelowna

New goalie added, preparing for upcoming games

South Cariboo bags three medals in figure skating competition in Revelstoke

Two girls brought home gold, while the third brought home silver

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read