A firefighting helicopter passes over Barkerville Historic Town and Park near Wells on Saturday, July 10.(Rebecca Dyok Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

A firefighting helicopter passes over Barkerville Historic Town and Park near Wells on Saturday, July 10.(Rebecca Dyok Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Popular Bowron Lake canoe circuit open despite wildfires – for now

Provincial park operator says they are monitoring the situation hour by hour

Boaters are being asked to avoid some areas of the Bowron Lake Provincial Park chain as air tankers use the lake to resupply to fight area wildfires.

Senior Park Operator Dave Drake said the canoe circuit was still fully open for paddlers to enjoy.

“The rangers are monitoring Bowron Lake, and keeping boats off the centre of the lake, because (firefighters) will be doing skimmers today,” he said.

READ MORE: RCMP believe Alberta kayacker went over waterfall, drowned in Bowron Lake Provincial Park

There are two wildfires burning inside the park and two burning just outside, as of the morning of July 12.

“They’re on the mountainside, not affecting the circuit at this time,” Drake said.

He added there is lower visibility and air quality in the park due to smoke.

“We’re monitoring it hourly, if there’s an issue, it will be dealt with right away,” Drake said. “It can change quickly but right now it’s all systems go. If it changes, we can get people out of the circuit fairly quick.”

The Cariboo Fire Centre confirmed there were 14 firefighters in the area, and a request for an air tanker was pending a visibility report.

There are no wildfire evacuation alerts or orders in effect near Bowron Lake or Wells.

The Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit encompasses a 116-km chain of lakes, waterways and connecting portages east of Quesnel in the Cariboo Mountains. The circuit takes from six to 10 days to complete and gets booked up months in advance.

READ MORE: Portions of Nazko First Nation under evacuation alert due to wildfire

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

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B.C. Wildfires 2021