Province on high alert with increased fire activity across B.C.

Saturday, July 11, 2015, updates on fire activity and impacts around the province

VICTORIA - With a significant number of wildfires burning around B.C., the Province

continues to caution all British Columbians to be diligent with fire safety and to

report all wildfires to authorities.

New Saturday July 11, 2015:

* Due to the growing Puntzi Lake wildfire, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has

expanded the Evacuation Alert and Order for Puntzi Lake.

* As a result of the Puntzi Lake wildfire, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has

confirmed that to date: one resort, two permanent homes, one seasonal home, and

multiple outbuildings on a total of four properties have been lost.

* Due to the Cougar Creek wildfire, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) issued

an Evacuation Alert for all properties along the Nahatlatch Forest Service Road, from

the Nahatlatch River Rafting Resort Access Road to the terminus of the Nahatlatch

Forest Service Road, including the Hannah Lake cabins.

* Due to reduced activity of Tsulquate River wildfire, the District of Port Hardy has

rescinded the Evacuation Alert for Mayors Way and Upper Carnarvon, west end to Park

Drive.

* The Air Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have been

terminated due to improved air quality.

* The wildfire Smoke Advisory for the Comox Valley has ended due to improved air

quality.

* The wildfire Smoke Advisory for the Sea-to-Sky Corridor has ended due to improved

air quality.

* The wildfire Smoke Advisory for the Sunshine Coast and surrounding areas has ended

due to improved air quality.

Update on fire activity and impacts:

There were 67 new wildfires in B.C. yesterday. As of noon today, there were 240 active

wildfires across the province (of these, 17 are active fires of note), with six states

of local emergency due to wildfire, and 12 Evacuation Alerts and Orders currently in

effect.

As of July 11, 2015, over 75 properties in the province were on Evacuation Order with

approximately 545 homes on Evacuation Alert. These numbers will fluctuate as orders

and alerts are put into place or rescinded. For all current Evacuation Alerts and

Orders in B.C., see: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca.

Evacuation Orders currently exist in these areas:

* Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, affecting three commercial properties and two

recreational cabins due to the Boulder Creek wildfire.

* Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, affecting 21 seasonal homes due to Dog Mountain

wildfire.

* Cariboo Regional District, affecting approximately 35 residences due to Puntzi Lake

wildfire (2).

* Sunshine Coast Regional District, affecting 18 properties due to the Old Sechelt

Mine wildfire.

Evacuation Alerts exist in these areas:

* Regional District of Central Kootenay due to the Mount Aylwin wildfire south of

Silverton, affecting 12 homes.

* Fraser Valley Regional District due to the Cougar Creek wildfire south of the

Nahatlach River, affecting 34 recreational cabins.

* Cariboo Regional District due to the Puntzi Lake wildfire northwest of Williams

Lake, affecting 20 homes.

* Regional District of Central Kootenay due to the Sitkum Creek wildfire north of

Kootenay Lake, affecting 350 homes.

* Regional District of East Kootenay due to the wildfire in Harrogate area north of

Highway 95, between Harrogate and Brisco, affecting 50 homes (2).

* Northern Rockies Regional Municipality due to the Petitot River wildfire northeast

of Fort Nelson, affecting an oil and gas camp.

States of local emergency for wildfires exist in the following areas:

* Regional District of East Kootenay (2).

* Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

* Sunshine Coast Regional District.

* Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

* Cariboo Regional District.

Wildfire smoke advisories and air quality status:

The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with regional health authorities, has

issued Air Quality Advisories for Fort St. John and the Southern Interior. While air

quality has improved in most parts of the province, advisories are expected to remain

in place until weather conditions change.

Wildfire Smoke Advisories have been issued for these areas:

* Fort St. John and surrounding areas.

* Port Hardy.

Smoky Skies Advisories have also been issued for most of the Southern Interior.

For information on current air quality readings in B.C. please visit:

www.bcairquality.ca

Did you know?

* Since April 1, 2015, B.C. has had 1,025 fires, more than double the 453 wildfires

reported in the same time period in 2014.

* Over 1,000 of B.C.'s firefighters are deployed across the province, and over 700

contract firefighters are helping to fight fires- 95 personnel and two aircraft from

Ontario are also assisting B.C. crews ensuring they get the rest they need to stay

safe.

* B.C.'s firefighters appreciate the expressions of support they are getting from

British Columbians. Leave your message of thanks at:

https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/pscripts/pab/fordisc/view_discussion.asp?TopicID=40

* Given the extraordinary fire situation this year, Government is using every "tool in

its toolbox"-effective July 11, 2015, the B.C. government is entering into a one-month

agreement with the Coulson Group to use the Martin Mars airtanker to supplement B.C.'s

airtanker fleet.

* BC Parks provides detailed updates on important park closures, campfire bans and

general information about current Provincial Park conditions, visit:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/campfire_bans.html

* Human-caused wildfires are preventable and divert firefighting resources from

naturally occurring fires-anyone who causes damage to Crown forest or grass land

through arson or recklessness can be fined up to $1 million or spend up to three years

in prison.

Report all wildfires:

Human-caused wildfires are preventable and the public is B.C.'s first line of defence

against wildfires. Please be diligent when in the backcountry, and report all

wildfires to 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on your mobile phone.

Learn More:

* Info on current wildfires and burning bans, as well as fire safety tips:

http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcwildfire/ and http://ow.ly/PfwC6

* Help prevent wildfires and learn what to do to plan and respond to an Evacuation

Alert or Order, visit: http://ow.ly/PoFVn

* The Homeowner's FireSmart Manual helps inform people on how to reduce the risk of

personal property damage due to wildfires: http://ow.ly/PfpqL

* To keep up-to-date on Emergency Alerts & notices, follow @EmergencyInfoBC on Twitter.