A Canadian Armed Forces Flight Engineer surveys the wildfires burning in British Columbia during a reconnaissance flight from a CH-147 Chinook during Operation LENTUS 17-04 in Kamloops British Columbia, on 12 July 2017. (Province of British Columbia)

B.C. wildfire crews prepare for windy weekend

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold front Saturday afternoon

With 167 fires burning across B.C. Friday afternoon, fire crews are looking to prepare for winds across the central and southern Interior this weekend.

There remain 22 wildfires of note, with 14 of those classified as interface fires, chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said. So far, 114,000 hectares of land have been burned, equating to $73 million in costs as 3,000 personnel help battle the blazes.

RELATED: Evacuation alert means ‘get ready to leave’

Environment Canada is forecasting a cold front Saturday afternoon, bringing windy conditions throughout southern B.C. Lightning is also forecasted near Fort St. John.

“As for the wind, we’re especially concerned in what that’s going to entail,” Skrepnek said.

The Chilcotin region, near Williams Lake, stands as the largest fire – made up of several smaller fires – at 40,000 hectares in size.

Efforts to prepare for the winds include controlled burns at areas around 100 Mile as well as White Lake in Williams Lake – the fire posing the most threat to the city. Controlled burns allow for the fuel to burn in a controlled setting before fires potentially move to the areas, due to wind.

Meanwhile, Skrepnek discouraged people entering the backcountry.

“When it is this hot and dry, with the winds in the forecast, too, it just makes everything more volatile,” he said, encouraging people to stay out of the backcountry.

As of 2 p.m. July 14, wildfires of note sit at:

Ashcroft Reserve– 11,500 ha

Princeton – 2,700 ha, 10 per cent contained

Gustafsen – 5,000 ha, 20 per cent contained

Wildwood – 2,500 ha, 40 per cent contained

Chilcotin complex (multiple fires) – 40,000 ha

Little Fort east – 1,400 ha, 20 per cent contained

Litte Fort west – 450 ha, 40 per cent contained

Just Posted

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Langford, Royal Roads partner to keep talent on the West Shore

MOU will target talent creation, retention and attraction with official partnership

Tsunami warning an ‘exercise in precaution’

Warning for Greater Victoria called off shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

Sirens don’t sing in tsunami warning for Esquimalt

Officials pleased with process, say sirens would have been activated had threat escalated.

Support growing for palliative care facility on the West Shore

Dave Saunders says facilities ‘bursting at the seams’

WATCH: Greater Victoria residents gather at higher ground during tsunami warning

Ocean Boulevard and the Esquimalt Lagoon reopened shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victoria’s most wanted for the week of Jan. 23

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrests or the seizure of property or drug

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Most Read