Pictured: BC wildfire map as of Aug. 9
Tourism officials are hoping the fires in parts of BC won’t have a major impact on overall visitor counts this summer.
Maya Lange, a vice president with Destination BC, says some travellers have been scared-off by misinformation about the fires.
“Unfortunately some of our regions and communities that may be hundreds of kilometres away from the impacted areas have reported cancellations from folks across Canada, the US and overseas because of the information they are receiving leads them to believe that BC is burning,” says Lange.
Lange says they’re working with their tourism partners to provide accurate information for travellers.
“We have spent the last month correcting much of that information, making people aware, so they can inform their customers — or their readers — about the correct information,” adds Lange.
Lange says some areas are seeing increases in tourism, as it appears most visitors are re-routing their trips to BC.
“We are hearing anecdotally people are travelling to other areas of the province, and the information we’re seeing is tourism numbers are on track, without any major significant impact.”
There are 150 fires burning in BC today — which includes 20 new ones Tuesday, most of those started by lightning, and in the Kootenays.
There have been 942 fires this season, burning 613,000 hectares and costing $254 million.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau says police are still investigating the cause of the Elephant Hill Fire between Cache Creek and Clinton which is now 117,000 hectares and 30% contained.
“We have eliminated train line activities as a possible cause, meaning it was not caused by train traffic or rail maintenance related activity,” says Linteau.
A dedicated tip line for information on that fire’s cause is at 1 855 685 8788.