A wildfire was sparked in Monte Lake next to Highway 97 Wednesday. (BC Wildfire Service image)

Wildfire fighting costs hit $154 million

14 new fires started on Wednesday

The cost of the province’s firefighting efforts have hit $154 million.

Fourteen new fires sparked on Wednesday, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek told reporters on Thursday, for a total of 148 burning across B.C. currently. Since April 1, 794 wildfires have been burning across the province.

The newest major blaze started near Monte Lake, southeast of Kamloops, on Wednesday. Since then, rumours have swirled over whether a thrown cigarette may have caused it.

RELATED: Monte Lake wildfire 30 per cent contained

“It does appear that the fire started fairly close to Hwy. 97… but the investigation is ongoing,” said Skrepnek. The fire currently sits at 150 hectares.

“I think the speed and aggressiveness with which this fire displayed yesterday speaks to just how hot and dry conditions are out there… and how quickly these fires can grow.”

RELATED: Hikers fined for campfire in Cariboo

Skrepnek implored people to take precautions and fire-safe their homes.

“There’s a lot of practical things that people can do that don’t take a lot of time,” he said. “Moving woodpiles away from their houses, moving propane tanks away, spacing out trees, cleaning out gutters… basically moving any potential combustibles away from the house.”

Emergency Management BC deputy minister Robert Turner warned evacuees returning to Williams Lake to be careful. Part of the evacuation order for the area was downgraded to an evacuation alert earlier Thursday, and residents were allowed to go back home nearly two weeks after being forced out.

“We would encourage people to be looking at the maps to ensure that their specific area has changed from an order status to an alert status before they would be making a decision to return,” said Turner. “For those who do return, there will be a resilience centre set up in Williams Lake tomorrow.”

twitter.com

www.twitter.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

Report gives details on proposal to relocate Grade 7s

According to the report, there has been some interest generated in the communities to relocate

This weekend at the Sportsplex

Here is the schedule for the North Thompson Sportsplex for the weekend of Dec. 15 – 17

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Thompson Rivers University students — by the numbers

Thompson Rivers University enrolment has increased during this school term compared to 2016

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read