BC's wildfire situation remains serious, more than 14300 evacuated so far

Posted July 13, 2017

Wood prices can rise as high as 6 percent if operations remain shut for weeks, but the higher cost, a small part of construction budgets, will be absorbed by builders and is unlikely to affect home buyers, Bank of Montreal analyst Ketan Mamtora said in an interview.

Fourteen-thousand people have been displaced and thousands more are on evacuation alert amid 219 wildfires burning across the province. The blaze burned almost 9 square miles (23 square kilometers) and injured four firefighters.

But officials believe there's a long way to go before the fires are brought under control. One of them, the so-called Alamo fire, has burned more than 43 square miles, is 45 percent contained and threatens homes near a town in neighboring San Luis Obispo County.

There have been no new fire starts of significance over night or through the morning.

Requests for out-of-province assistance are made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the sharing of firefighting resources within Canada.

He said he was leaving his trailer attached to his truck and telling his daughters to keep prized possessions they couldn't take the first time close at hand. About 200 rural homes east of Santa Maria were evacuated after the fire broke out on Saturday and was fed by dry gusts.

Krystle Chambers, who with her father Chuck Wilsey had to evacuate their property near Oroville waits at an evacuation center near Oroville Monday.

"It's hard to remember a year quite like this one", she said Tuesday. "Way too many hits. What we want to do right now is make sure we're fully prepared to respond in those areas once we're given clearance so we're assembling material, equipment, crews and designers and other experts that will be needed to help with the restoration work".

Pam Deditch, who is running the shelter where Wilsey and his family were huddled, also managed a shelter during the winter drenching.

For now, things are calm in his community, he said. "We're used to this". "We don't know what happens with the fire yet". 100 Mile House was evacuated and officials say it will likely remain so for at least another week, due to another fire - the estimated 5,000 hectare Gustafsen wildfire, now also active and zero per cent contained, burning just west of 100 Mile House. It was 60 percent contained. Slightly cooler weather is expected to give crews a break in the coming days.

If the fires continue to grow, however, it can get more hard to make up lost production, he said.

Fires across the western province intensified last Friday and have since covered more than 38,000 hectares (93,900 acres).

Pierce said cash donations are the best way to help the thousands of people forced from their homes because donated goods often don't match the needs of evacuees and are costly to ship and store. Firefighters built containment lines around at least 85 percent of the blaze.