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B.C. wildfire officials are sharing some good news today, as it looks like a “favourable week” for crews fighting the flames across the province. This break comes after a weekend full of scorching hot weather and raging winds, which made the situation even more vicious.
The wildfires in White Rock Lake, now at 81,139 hectares, blazed through the Killiney and Ewings Landing communities earlier this week. An estimated 70 properties were completely destroyed or affected by it. In Monte Lake and Westwold, homes and structures were also lost this month.
Todd Nessman, manager of wildfire operations in B.C., said Tuesday that some of the most affected areas stuck in the drought have now received more than 25 to 40 millimetres of rain.
“It doesn’t solve the problem but it helps,” he said in a press conference. “In terms of outlook, over the next six to 10 days, there are a series of lows coming through the province and that will help crews battle the large fires.”
Nessman also added that another drying trend should start on Wednesday and Thursday but they don’t forsee scary temperatures that the areas dealt with last weekend.
The wildfires have been so overwhelming that 43 firefighters and technicians were brought in from the Yukon earlier this week. They’ll be working alongside 519 out-of-province firefighters, including crews from Australia, Mexico, the Prairies, central, and eastern Canada.
During a recent stop in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to spend $500 million ahead of the next fire season to train 1,000 new community-based firefighters and fund new equipment to battle climate change-related events.
“This fire season has already been one of the worst on record. It’s clear we need more people and resources to fight these wildfires and keep communities safe,” he said.
A total of 3,830 firefighters are still stationed in the red zones, battling the fires around the province. There are still 260 active fires in B.C affecting 22,729 properties.
Officials say the wildfire situation remains extremely dangerous, and are still asking residents to stay away from areas under evacuation until further notice.