KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – With warm temperatures and strong winds in the weekend forecast, it’s feared conditions could reinvigorate wildfires in the BC Interior.
Federal officials visiting wildfire-affected communities in British Columbia are expected to give an update today on the state of the response.
Some areas received rain earlier in the week, but officials are concerned warm weather and strong winds in the forecast this weekend could reinvigorate the fires.
Cariboo Regional District Chairman Al Richmond says officials are continuing to prepare for evacuees from Williams Lake and 100 Mile House to return home with plans to get emergency medical facilities running and to stock up grocery stores.
But he says there is still no timeline in place for when residents can finally go back, and if Mother Nature brings more fires this weekend, that could add to the uncertainty about how long evacuation orders will remain in place.
Training officer for Wildland Fire Operations Randy Schenderling says the rain we saw earlier in the year actually made things worse for much of the province.
“They had a wet spring, so the grass all grew, now it’s been so warm it’s dried out.”
He says that means dangerous conditions for firefighters.
“Flashy fuels, which are grasses, they hurt firemen. So that’s a big concern for us.”
“If you look at the topography and the landscape, it’s perfect conditions for a disaster.”
Members of a federal ad hoc committee leading the government’s fire response, including Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, will be meeting with provincial officials in Prince George this morning.
They’re expected to deliver an update on the government’s support for communities in Kamloops later in the day.