174 wildfires burning in B.C. including 37 new blazes | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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174 wildfires burning in B.C. including 37 new blazes

FILE PHOTO - B.C. Wildfire Service reports a controlled burn near Naramata may produce visible smoke in the South Okanagan today, June 16, 2016.
Image Credit: File photo
July 05, 2021 - 4:30 PM

Help for B.C.'s Wildfire crews is arriving.

B.C. was expecting 100 out-of-province resources today, July 5, Cliff Chapman with B.C. Wildfire Service said during a July 4 press conference.

“We're working to get them into Abbotsford and supported in Chilliwack from Fraser Health, to make sure that they are getting rapid COVID tested before we actually launch them into the province,” Chapman said.

From there, they'll be dispersed into the interior which is going to help with firefighting resources.

B.C. Wildfire has also made a request for federal assistance and those resources are expected to arrive this week. They are mobilizing in Edmonton which has been set up as the command post.

“They've moved or they're in the process of moving 350 individual ground troops into Edmonton in support of the potential for B.C. to need those ground resources,” Chapman said.

“Additional to that, we are in the process of locking in some aircraft — whether that be the Hercules aircraft and as well some Rotary Wing aircraft — to support the movement of our people so that we can move our own staff around the province as fires escalate.”

Chapman said they’re still working out the best place for those resources to potentially support B.C. crews on the ground, recognizing that they do have some firefighting training.

Roughly 83,000 hectares have burned in 633 B.C. wildfires since April 1 and those numbers are expected to grow in the days ahead.

Of these, 56% have been human-caused fires, with an additional 31% being lightning-caused, and the cause of the remaining ones is still undetermined and under investigation, Chapman said.

There are currently 174 fires burning across B.C. today, 81 of which were detected in the past 48 hours, and in the last 24 hours they've detected 37 new fires.

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