BC wildfire crews hoping for a rainy June after month of aggressive fires


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC wildfire crews are keeping an eye on the sky.

After a hot, dry May that has made for plenty of work for firefighters, some cooler temperatures in the forecast could help them out.

Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says it’s already getting cooler in the province, which is good news. But he says the severity of this fire season will be determined by the amount of rain we get in June.

“Last year, we had a wet spring, in terms of April and May. Then June was just bone-dry. Many parts of the province didn’t see any substantial rain from early June right through until the fall. And that’s really one of the key factors that made last year so destructive.”

Skrepnek says we’ve had an average number of wildfires in BC for this time of year, but “what has been unusual is how aggressive these fires have been, in terms of the behaviour we’ve been seeing out there — a lot more smoke and flame than what we’d usually see this time of year.”

We usually don’t see them this bad until July.

More evacuation orders, alerts lifted

A handful of evacuation orders and alerts that were in effect near a five-square kilometre wildfire west of Lillooet have been lifted.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District says the Xusum Creek fire is still just 35 per cent contained but the danger has decreased and it no longer poses an immediate threat to public safety.

Cooler weather has also allowed crews to completely contain the Allie Lake fire northwest of Kamloops, but the Tommy Lakes fire north of Fort St. John has now scorched 225-square kilometres.

The BC Wildfire Service says it is 10 per cent contained and evacuation orders remain in effect, along with an area restriction order limiting travel on Crown land around the perimeter of the Tommy Lakes blaze.

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