British Columbia

B.C. Wildfire Service warns people to avoid backcountry in southern B.C. to prevent wildfires

With record-breaking temperatures and dry lightning with no rain in the forecast, officials say the chance of a human-caused fire is high in southern B.C.'s backcountry.

Campfire ban remains in effect for all parts of southern B.C.

Wildfires darken the sky as they approach the community of Loon Lake during the summer of 2017 in B.C. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Officials are asking people to stay out of B.C.'s backcountry and recreation sites over the Labour Day weekend as the wildfire danger for the southern half of the province remains extreme.

Kevin Skrepnek with the B.C. Wildfire Service says the potential for record-breaking temperatures and dry lightning with no rain over the long weekend means human-caused fires must be prevented.

There are 150 wildfires burning across the province, contributing to a total of 1,161 fires this season.

A campfire ban remains in place for all southern parts of the province and off-road vehicles are restricted in the Cariboo, Kamloops and southeast fire centres.

Volker Michelfelder with B.C. Parks says there are over 165 sites and 41 trails closed in the three regions and people are being warned to avoid visiting the remaining open sites in those areas all together.

The Conservation Officer Service and other authorities will be increasing patrols at sites and in the backcountry to ensure public safety this weekend.

Last week alone, 37 tickets were issued to people violating bans and restrictions under the Wildfire Act.