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

Langley junior curling champs defend title in Quebec

Defeat of their cousin’s team has secured Tardi brothers and the rest of the team in today’s finals.

Windstorm whallops Surrey

Environment Canada lifts wind warning but not before storms hits region hard

UPDATE: Elderly woman found wandering in Surrey reunited with family

Public asked to help identify South Asian woman who is not able to communicate with police

ZYTARUK: Only the truth, and nothing but

Lying hurts all of us. You, me, them. All of us.

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blanked by Portland Winterhawks

Saturday’s 2-0 setback marks first regulation loss for G-Men in 10 games

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Most Read