VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Though firefighters welcome the wet weather this weekend, the B.C. Wildfire Service says more sustained rains are needed to make an impact on the fires ravaging B.C. this year.
After some cooler weather hit B.C. yesterday, a number of evacuation orders and alerts have been cancelled or downgraded in several communities. Changes were made yesterday In the Cariboo, the Thompson-Nicola regional districts, and the Bulkley-Nechako region.
However, despite the progress, fire crews say they need 2 to 4 days of steady rain to end the fire threat.
Kyla Fraser, spokeswoman with the B.C. Wildfire Service, says that fires in central and northern B.C. remain challenging, given the size of the fires. She hopes mother nature plays along to help quash some of the most severe fires in the province.
“What we really want to see right now is a prolonged period of rain,” says Fraser. “That combined with cooler temperatures could mean all the difference.”
An air quality advisory is still on the go in Chilliwack, and further east, in Agassiz and Hope, while most of Vancouver Island remains under a smoky skies bulletin.
To date, there have been 551 wildfires in B.C. this year, burning down over 855,000 hectares, according to Fraser. She says it is second-worst fire on record in terms of land burned. Over 60 fires of note are currently ablaze, the biggest of which is the Alkali Lake fire at 118,000 hectares in size.