Topic: b.c. wildfires

Flooding comes early to B.C.'s Cariboo region

This fall's wet basements and landslides in the Cariboo region are amplifying concerns about flooding risks for spring 2021, a district director says.

All evacuation alerts now lifted near B.C.'s only remaining wildfire of note

The Regional District of Central Kootenay says it has removed alerts covering 46 properties in the Slocan Valley based on advice from the BC Wildfire Service.

Smoked in: A look back at B.C.'s haziest wildfire seasons over the past 20 years

British Columbians have got used to smoky skies in recent years, with wildfires and the resulting haze becoming part of a normal summer in a province where the warming climate is marked by longer, more intense fire seasons. These photos are a look back at some of the lengthiest, most memorable wildfire smoke events B.C. has seen since the turn of the century.

All wildfire evacuees in B.C.'s Okanagan can now return home

All residents displaced by the Christie Mountain wildfire can now return to their homes, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen announced Tuesday.

Okanagan wildfire evacuees should be back home this week, officials say

Dozens of Okanagan families ordered out of their homes nearly a week ago due to an aggressive wildfire might soon be allowed home, as local officials finalize plans for a safe return on Monday.

More crews on way for wildfire near Penticton, B.C., as winds increase risks

Calm winds over the past few days were forecast to switch direction and gain strength over the 20-square-kilometre wildfire that had already destroyed one home and prompted an evacuation order affecting hundreds.

With winds in forecast, residents near Penticton, B.C., wildfire urged to prepare for evacuation

Though dozens of B.C. wildfires continue to burn, one evacuation alert has been lifted in the southeast of the province.

Wildfire in B.C.'s East Kootenay region leads to evacuation order

Several homes and recreational sites in the East Kootenay region of B.C. have been ordered to evacuate because of a wildfire sparked by lightning.

1 home destroyed, hundreds evacuated, thousands on notice as wildfire flares in southern B.C.

Hundreds of residents in British Columbia's southern Okanagan region are out of their homes, and thousands more must be ready to leave on short notice as a nearby wildfire grows in size.

More than 300 properties evacuated, thousands on alert as wildfire grows in B.C.'s Okanagan

An evacuation order has been issued for residents of 319 properties near a quickly growing wildfire that broke out Tuesday afternoon north of Okanagan Falls, B.C., while residents of thousands of homes in Penticton have been put on notice.

More than 70 new wildfires reported in B.C. after dry lightning

More than 70 new wildfires have broken out in B.C. in the past two days amid sweltering heat in parts of the province.

Penticton fire evacuees allowed to return home — but some will have to walk there

Crews still working to contain wildfire in Sage Mesa area northwest of city.

Boaters interfere with Shuswap Lake firefighting efforts; 43 properties on evacuation alert near Princeton

All of the properties under alert are located along Highway 5A between McCaffrey Lake, MacKenzie Lake, Dry Lake, Round Lake and Allison Lake Provincial Park, according to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Response Centre.

Lightning ignites dozens of fires across B.C.'s Southern Interior

The B.C. Wildfire Service has recorded 46 new fires in the past two days.

Wildfire camps ramp up ability for crews to physically distance ahead of fire season

There's fighting walls of fire that threaten lives, communities and wildlife. And then there's doing it in the context of a global pandemic.

Forecast is good for fighting out-of-control fire near Kitimat, B.C. Wildfire Service says

A wildfire near Kitimat is burning out of control, but the B.C. Wildfire Service says firefighters have made significant progress in establishing a perimeter.

New wildfire app to provide real-time fire season information

The B.C. Wildfire Service app will show current statistics, danger ratings, active fires and evacuation orders or alerts and more.

B.C. launches new digital registration system for wildfire evacuees

The government says the shift from the existing "archaic" paper system will speed up services for evacuees and help maintain physical distancing.

11 small wildfires in B.C. on Easter weekend, but most quickly doused

Grass fires can be common at this time of year as dead grasses dry quickly after snow cover melts.

Amid forest industry crisis, tree-planting contractors look to a banner year

Sector gears up to plant 310 million seedlings to replace forests lost to beetle-kill and wildfires and to offset climate change.

'We're returning the favour': More Canadian firefighters answer Australia's call to help battle wildfires

More Canadian firefighters are on their way to Australia to help battle wildfires that have ravaged the country, with the fifth deployment heading out from the Vancouver International Airport on Monday evening.

B.C. to update emergency program law to improve disaster response, supports

Devastating wildfires and floods and the prospect of more to come has caused the B.C. government to look at updating its emergency management law.

Charges possible as RCMP wrap investigation into devastating Elephant Hill wildfire

Mounties have wrapped up their investigation into 2017's massive Elephant Hill wildfire and passed on their findings to Crown for consideration of charges.

Prescribed burns planned for southern Vancouver Island

The B.C. Wildfire service will be starting a fire to intentionally burn away unwanted vegetation — and prevent fires — on southern Vancouver Island. 

Evacuation order expanded for Tagish Lake fire in northern B.C.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says strong winds early this week caused two of the more prominent wildfires in northwestern British Columbia to grow.

Fire crews battle growing Okanagan Valley wildfire overnight

Fire crews continued to battle a wildfire that nearly doubled in size Thursday in the Okanagan Valley.

New wildfire between Oliver and Okanagan Falls, B.C., prompts evacuation alert

Approximately 100 firefighting personnel have been dispatched to a new wildfire located halfway between Oliver, B.C., and Okanagan Falls.

'It creates anxiety:' Vancouver Island tourism operators dreading wildfire season

Local Vancouver Island tourism business owners say an intensified wildfire season could discourage tourists from visiting their areas.

A psychologist explains: Trauma and loss after fire

Clinical psychologist Kathy Keating sat down with Sarah Penton, host of CBC's Radio West, to talk about how people recover from losing everything they own in a fire.

How people who lost their homes in fires decades ago feel today

After enduring heartbreaking loss, survivors of wildfires in the Salmon Arm area share how they managed to move on and where they are at now.

A $1.1M project is just the first step in protecting a B.C. historic site from wildfire

The folks who manage Barkerville had just finished their plan for easing the risk of wildfire around the historic B.C. ghost town when the summer of 2017 began.

Healing after fire: How Rock Creek residents are coping 4 years later

Some community members have made peace with losing all of their things in the fire, while others still struggle to come to terms with what is gone.

Wildfire service sets up special camp in northwestern B.C. as fire risk soars

Wildfire crews are setting up a 150-person camp in the Dease Lake area in British Columbia's northwest as drought grips the region and the fire danger soars along with the temperature.

Trudeau's action plan on climate change draws former B.C. health minister back into politics

With B.C. expected to be a key battleground in October's federal election, Terry Lake is considered a high-profile candidate for the Liberals in the province.

Metro Vancouver fire departments prepare for urban wildfires

Fire departments across the Lower Mainland are preparing for wildfires within city limits as the province braces for what could be another intense season.

Wildfire jargon explained: Need-to-know terminology for fire season

Emergency officials use specific terms to clearly and efficiently communicate survival information during fire season — but do you know how to interpret them?

Temperatures — and risk of early-season wildfires — to spike in B.C. this weekend

Three open-burn bans are already in place across the north and much of central B.C., where both fire-danger ratings and fears are high due to dry conditions.

Barkerville theatre troupe to visit B.C. communities heavily impacted by wildfires

On Friday, a threatre troupe from Barkerville, B.C., kicks off its new tour. It will visit communities in the province's Interior that were hit hardest by floods and wildfires over the last two years. 

Air purification sales surge as Canadians anticipate smoky summer stuck indoors

Health concerns are driving the creation of 'clean air shelters' in homes and public spaces across western Canada.
Field Reports

First Nations patrol program manages and protects lands in B.C. Interior

The Secwepemc Territorial Patrol is helping Secwepemc communities become stewards of the territory.

'Abnormally dry' conditions across Pacific Northwest could spell long wildfire season for B.C.

As weather in British Columbia begins to heat up, the spectre of another potentially destructive wildfire season is on the horizon.

Prince George updates emergency evacuation plan

The northern Interior city is currently in the first year of a five-year plan to improve its preparedness for future emergencies. 

Local and provincial fire crews fight wildfire near Pemberton

The fire is in the Mount Currie pasture area and was last estimated at around 20 hectares in size.

Emergency crews respond to wildfire near Lytton

The BC Wildfire Service estimates the fire is around 2 hectares, and is visible from Highway 1 across the Fraser River.

More wildfire supports needed for isolated Indigenous communities: report

The Tsilhqot'in Nation was among the hardest hit during the 2017 wildfire season, as crews prioritized urban areas, according to a report prepared by the First Nation.

Evacuation alert lifted after grass fire contained near Pemberton

The B.C. Wildfire Service said the fire near Mount Currie was about 95 hectares — almost a square kilometre — in size and out of control at its peak.

Volunteer fire chief warns against burning grass after uncontrolled fire accidentally started

The president and chief of the McLeese Lake volunteer fire department is warning people in the Cariboo not to burn grass at this time of year after a local man accidentally started an uncontrolled fire that spread nearly one kilometre.

B.C. 'fog zone' no longer exempt from burn bans during wildfire season

The so-called "fog zone" along the outer coast of Vancouver Island will no longer be exempt when the B.C. Wildfire Service implements campfire bans and other open burn prohibitions.

As threat of wildfire grows, B.C. lets logging debris litter landscape for years

After managing the fight against last summer's massive Shovel Lake fire, a member of the B.C. Wildfire Service filed a complaint about all the dead wood he was seeing on the ground. But as it turns out, every logging company in the area had met their legal requirements under B.C.'s Wildfire Act.

Crews, officials across B.C. prepare for wildfire season as first big blazes flare up

Several significant fires have already been sparked across the province, from Squamish and Vancouver Island to the Interior and northern B.C.

Environmentalists hope for action in wake of 'shocking and utterly unsurprising' climate-change report

A new report about climate change in Canada, leaked to the public on Monday, has alarming implications across the country — and British Columbia won’t escape unscathed.

Parched March sets low-rainfall records in parts of B.C.

In Vancouver, for example, where cherry blossoms have been blooming under cloudless blue skies, the weather agency said it logged only 31 millimetres of rain for the entire month — little more than a quarter of the usual 113 millimetres.

Wildfire management funding boosted to $101M as B.C. prepares for dry season

In the wake of two record-breaking wildfire seasons in B.C., the provincial government is increasing the budget for wildfire management by 58 per cent to $101 million.

'Why aren't we building for wildfire smoke?' Air quality specialist calls for air filters indoors

Where there’s fire, there’s smoke and, after two summers of record-breaking wildfires, British Columbia is looking for better solutions to protect lung health.

Expect every year to be 'awful': Experts weigh how to protect B.C. public from wildfire smoke

If the last few years are any indication, wildfire smoke is becoming a fact of life in B.C. — and with that comes the inevitable questions about how it's affecting our health.

B.C. forests contribute 'hidden' carbon emissions that dwarf official numbers, report says

"Uncounted forest emissions" represent a major hole in B.C.'s climate plan and show the need for a provincial forest emissions-reduction strategy, according to a new report by an environmental group.

B.C. wildfires led to 'record-breaking year' for poor air quality in Alberta's Industrial Heartland

If the blanket of smoke that hung over the capital region last summer wasn’t enough of an indicator of the effects of the B.C. wildfires, an Alberta organization has released new data showing the impact on air quality.

Here are the top 5 B.C. weather stories of 2018

From record fires to record floods, B.C. saw a repeat of extreme 2017 weather events.

Why do houses burn but trees remain? Photos from California wildfires reveal lessons for B.C.

The wildfire situation in California is being called the deadliest in the state's history and lessons for British Columbia are emerging from the photos of the carnage.

B.C. wildfire action plan focuses on collaboration with First Nations

A large focus of the action plan is working with First Nation communities. Doug Donaldson, B.C.'s Minister of Forests, said they provide resources in several ways, including their knowledge of the burn areas and manpower.

Back-to-back summers of smoke and fire stoke B.C. tourism industry fears

Record-breaking wildfire seasons in B.C. in 2017 and 2018 not only cost the tourism industry in the short-term, but operators are concerned the region's international reputation as a vacation destination could be at long-term risk.

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles, experts say

Researcher says clearing or burning areas of forest affected by mountain pine beetles is expensive but could reduce fuel for future wildfires.

Caution urged as people head back into wildfire affected areas in B.C.

The Ministry of Forests says a number of safety hazards remain for those in the affected areas.

Vancouver Island village 'like a ghost town' after rock slide evacuation following summer of fires

Residents of the small village of Zeballos, on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, have faced a rough summer of natural disasters from fires to rock slides and are concerned about the long-term impact on their town.

After 2 week wildfire evacuation, residents can return to Lower Post, B.C.

The B.C. Wildfire Service lifted the evacuation order on the community on Friday morning. Residents are now beginning what will likely be a long process of cleaning up and assessing the damage.

Locals protest in Burns Lake after B.C. officials turn away specialized firefighting gear

Dozens of people have gathered in Burns Lake, B.C. to protest after truckers with specialized firefighting equipment were told they couldn't help fight fires in the area.

Change in weather could blow wildfire smoke out of B.C.

A change in the weather could blow away much of the smoke blanketing B.C., but things may get worse in some regions before they get better.

Forest fires can impact the water as well as the air

Researchers from the University of Alberta's Southern Rockies Watershed Project have been working to understand what impact forest fires have on water quality and treatment.

Inhaler visits have jumped due to record-setting smoke, pharmacist says

Some Calgary pharmacies are seeing more people than usual come in for help with inhalers because of smoke from wildfires.

North Shore Rescue warns of long response times as helicopters used in fire fight

The majority of calls North Shore Rescue (NSR) respond to require the use of a helicopter. Now, it says response times may be longer as the company that supplies NSR with its helicopters is sending the choppers to help in B.C.'s fire fight.

Crews plan controlled burns as Kimberley, B.C., remains under wildfire evacuation alert

Kimberley, B.C., remains under an evacuation alert for a second day as the Meachen Creek wildfire burns to the west.

B.C. communities left under-resourced to fight fires, says regional district chair

Fires, alerts and evacuation orders continue to grow across British Columbia and, in the worst affected areas, those fighting the fires are frustrated at what they describe as a lack of support from the provincial government.

Vancouver park rangers focus on fire risk as hot, dry weather ramps up

Park Rangers in Vancouver are always on the lookout for people smoking at the beach or lighting bonfires, but that vigilance is amplified when the city is blasted with a heat wave.

Crews fight forest fire near Horseshoe Bay

West Vancouver firefighters say they're making progress on a wildfire burning near the Sea to Sky Highway.

Forest management could be causing more harm than good, says UBC prof

A University of British Columbia researcher is studying the impact of current forest management strategies says accumulations of dry plants and trees are creating fast-moving fires.

Crews battle Snowy Mountain wildfire in B.C.

Crews are battling the Snowy Mountain wildfire in B.C.'s southern Okanagan.

First came the fires, then came the mud: Clinton residents facing new threat

Last year's back burns around Clinton, B.C., took out all the vegetation from surrounding hillsides. Now, locals are having to deal with mudslides.

Kamloops fire was started by spark from home renovations

Kamloops Fire and Rescue have confirmed the cause of the East Shuswap Road fire was a spark caused by the cutting of angle iron during renovations.

B.C. Wildfires 2018: B.C. firefighters repeatedly impeded by recreational boaters on Okanagan Lake

Navigate the CBC's interactive map for the full wildfire picture across B.C.

'That will stick with us forever': the wedding saved from wildfire by the kindness of strangers

Ronny Kwetny and Tyler Balaban's original venue was evacuated due to wildfires — but when their plight came to light on social media, the couple from Coquitlam, B.C., were inundated with offers to help find a new location.

Animal rescue expert shares emergency preparedness tips for pet owners

An emergency kit is important to have during wildfire season, but most pet owners don’t have a plan for their cats and dogs according to an animal rescue expert.

Evacuation orders issued south of Peachland, B.C., as Mt. Eneas wildfire grows

Several homes and campsites south of Peachland, B.C. have been ordered to evacuate following the growing Mt. Eneas wildfire.

545-hectare Kamloops fire under control but still burning, says B.C. Wildfire Service

A wildfire near Kamloops, B.C., that was burning all weekend is under control, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service.

Expert boosts benefits of controlled burns ahead of Kootenays wildfire conference

The three-day long conference aims to share the latest research and explore initiatives taking place around the world aimed at tackling climate change.

Lightning sparks nearly 100 new wildfires in B.C. over 24 hours

Hundreds of lightning strikes have sparked up to five dozen fires across B.C., where forests have dried up after days of unusually hot weather.

Ruin and Renewal: exhibit in Kamloops, B.C. reviews history of fire in Interior

The new exhibit, Ruin and Renewal: Fire on the Interior Plateau, is a tribute to the unprecedented force of nature which moved through the area last year and also explores the history of fire in B.C.’s Interior.

Firefighters hope for wet weather to head off ominous wildfire forecasts

The aggressive start to this year’s wildfire season could just be a taste of what’s to come, as forecasters predict weather conditions that are ripe for fire throughout the summer.

Wildfires, wood smoke and dust: forum looks at air quality in northern B.C.

Air quality is a big concern among people in northern B.C. For two days, academics and environmentalists came together to talk about the state of the air and how to improve it.

Weekend rescue prompts search-crew warning to mushroom pickers seeking bumper B.C. crop

Search crews fear the rescue of a mushroom picker who went missing in B.C.'s Interior on the weekend may be the first of many similar calls this summer.

Whistler installing heat- and smoke-sensitive cameras as wildfire season looms

The cameras can detect traces of a blaze 15 kilometres away.

B.C.'s Cariboo braces for new wildfire season as cleanup from last year's blaze continues

The massive wildfires that scorched B.C.'s Cariboo region last summer left a huge cleanup job that's still not finished.

Evacuation alert and order rescinded for Allie Lake wildfire

The B.C. Wildfire Service updates the three major wildfires of note in the province.

Evacuation order issued for 14 properties as wildfire burns north of Kamloops

An evacuation order has been issued for more than a dozen properties near Allie Lake due to "potential danger to life and health" from a wildfire burning in the area.

Warmer than normal summer forecast for most of B.C.

After a long and wet spring in B.C., CBC Vancouver meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe says the long range outlook for much of B.C. is warmer than normal.

Burnaby firefighters battle grass fire on urban trail

Fire officials said the fire was about 2,500 square feet in size and was encroaching on nearby hydro towers.

Cooler days help firefighters battle wildfire near Logan Lake

B.C. Wildfire Service estimates the fire is 140 hectares in size.

Hikers rescued after being trapped by forest fire near Lions Bay

Two people needed to be rescued by helicopter after finding themselves above the fire line near the Tunnel Bluffs trail on Monday. Another four were able to walk to safety.

Flood and wildfire review calls for better communication with First Nations

An independent review into last year’s devastating wildfires and floods in B.C. has found better communication and coordination is needed with First Nations communities.

In the midst of floods, B.C. Wildfire Service warns of hotspot flare-ups

Floods may be dominating the B.C. headlines at the moment, but officials are warning wildfires are a growing concern, especially those that may have been smouldering underground and undetected throughout the winter.

B.C. wildfires triggered mega thunderstorm with volcano-like effects

In the midst of B.C.'s record-breaking wildfire season, the heat from four fires triggered huge thunderstorms that sent smoke flying into the stratosphere, eventually spreading through the entire Northern Hemisphere.