Raging forest fires erupted with a vengeance across North America as deteriorating timber conditions in the back country and extended dry weather combined this season.
Potentially record-high temperatures this weekend threaten to complicate firefighting efforts in Washington State, where five wildfires already are raging. Hot and dry weather forecast could exacerbate the 28-mile Mills Canyon Fire and lead to additional wildfire outbreaks, officials warn. The coming heat wave could bring temperatures in the triple digits, National Weather Service’s Matt Fugazzi told The Seattle Times.
Several hundred firefighters are working to contain the fire in Chelan County near Entiat, WA, which has threatened more than 200 homes and damaged a few structures. A spokesperson for fire operations, Laurie Dowie, said Friday to ABC News that residents of about 40 homes have been told to evacuate.
In Canada, a fast-moving wildfire in northeastern British Columbia is expected to double in size and is keeping about 200 oil-and-gas workers out of evacuated camps.
The Red Deer Creek fire southeast of the mining community of Tumbler Ridge, BC, was sparked by a lightning strike on Sunday, grew to 650 hectares on Tuesday, and now covers 5,000 hectares, or about 50 square kilometres.
The province’s Wildfire Management Branch said Thursday to CTV News that 80 firefighters are tackling the flames. CONT’D PAGE 7
An open fire ban is in effect starting this Friday in the Prince George Fire Centre, with the exception of the Fort Nelson Fire Zone, said the BC Wildfire Branch Thursday.
The prohibition will remain in effect until September 30 and does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller.
Meanwhile, access to some forested areas north of Banff, AB, has been temporarily restricted by Alberta’s Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Friday morning due to a wildfire in the area. It prohibits all access in the affected area north of Banff and west of Rocky Mountain House.
Officials say the wildfire covers over 5,600 hectares of land.