For a second day in a row, the wildfire situation in British Columbia has seen little in the way of wind to cause any major problems.
Kevin Skrepnek with the BC Wildfire Service says there were some scattered showers in some areas, in particular around Williams Lake.
He says while it’s a welcome relief, the amount of precipitation is not enough to have a major effect on fires.
Skrepnek says Monday and Tuesday will see a small ridge of high pressure building, meaning conditions are going to remain dry.
The next weather event will be Wednesday and Thursday when another cold front moves in.
That is expected to bring increased winds and potential thunderstorms, however, it’s not clear if any lightning will accompany that.
The biggest change over the weekend is the merging of several small fires that have been burning in the Cariboo since July 7th west of Highway 20.
The Wildfire Service is now treating that as one large fire, called the Plateau Fire.
It is now the largest in the province at 438 thousand hectares.
Measured end-to-end, it would cover 130 kilometres.
Kevin Skrepnek stresses that is not from growth, but strictly from merging.
It is also not active in all areas, but does present a challenge logistically.
Two management teams have been assigned to it, with 500 personnel battling the fire backed by 24 helicopters and 115 pieces of heavy equipment.
The Elephant Hill fire is now mapped at 168 thousand and 92 hectares and is 25 per cent contained.
The fire continues to burn away from Loon Lake, resulting in the lifting of the evacuation order there effective early Sunday afternoon.
However, the evacuation alert continues because there is still fire activity in the area.
As well, the Wildfire Service has increased the area restriction surrounding it to keep new people from entering the fire zone.
The Hanceville-Riske Creek fire south of Highway 20 in the Cariboo has increased slightly to 227 thousand hectares – much of that due to mapping.
Fire crews have made some progress on it and it is now 25 per cent contained.
In the Coastal Fire region, a new fire that broke out last night near Harrison Lake tripled in size overnight to about 20 hectares.
The Slollicum Creek fire is 12 kilometres northeast of Harrison Lake burning on the east side of the lake.
It is separate from the 202 hectare fire that has been burning sine July and is not in an area where it threatens any communities.
Twenty-three firefighters and 4 helicopters have been assigned to it.
As of today, 137 fires are burning in the province, including 12 fires that started Saturday – none of which is considered significant.
The number of fires since April 1st is one thousand and 57, having covered a record 981 thousand hectares of land.
The cost of fighting those fires has risen to 345.3 million dollars.
Three thousand 600 personnel are fighting the fires, including 550 from out of province.
The RCMP have 2000 members and employees, including municipal officers assigned to it to assist in public safety management in the fire zones.
Officers from the the Northwest Territories and Yukon arrived today to assist.
Twenty-five evacuation orders remain in effect, affecting approximately 3800 people, while the number of alerts is 35 affecting some 9700 people.