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No end in sight for B.C. wildfires one month after state of emergency declared

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
August 07, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Wildfires are continuing to tear through British Columbia one month after the provincial government declared a state of emergency.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek says the province has seen 904 fires since April 1 and most of the major blazes wreaking havoc are ones that prompted the state of emergency declaration July 7.

That includes the massive 1,100-square-kilometre Elephant Hill fire near Ashcroft, B.C., that is believed to be human caused and remains under investigation.

Skrepnek says regardless of the cause, the duration of the disaster is weather-dependent and without rain, crews are doing their best to contain and direct the fire away from communities.

Lands destroyed by a secondary fire that was accidentally ignited by crews responding to the Elephant Hill blaze last week prompted ranchers in the region to demand compensation in a public letter.

Skrepnek says the BC Wildfire Service has been in touch with the ranchers and, although fighting fires remains the priority, there are a number of policies to ensure agricultural workers receive support for this type of natural disaster.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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