Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames — including Vancouver where the haze Monday obscured the city's mountain views — could be particularly harmful for children and seniors, but anyone with poor health should take precautions, says a senior scientist. Full story
On Vancouver Island, thick smoke grounded firefighting helicopters trying to dampen the 90-hectare wildfire burning on a steep slope in Zeballos on Monday.
In Prince George on Tuesday, Premier John Horgan said successive B.C. governments have budgeted "laughable" amounts of money to fight wildfires that are becoming all too common through the ravages of climate change.
More from the B.C. Wildfire Service:
Between July 19 and Aug 19, there were 324 new #BCwildfire starts in the Southeast Fire Centre, 90% of which were caused by lightning. BCWS personnel are making steady progress despite challenging conditions and heightened fire danger ratings. More info: https://t.co/AnVgdylbMa— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 21, 2018
Darke Creek #BCwildfire is now ~4.8 ha in size. Today we have 21 personnel on site with helicopter & water skimmer support. Significant progress has been made. An Evacuation Alert remains in place for the vicinity of the fire - refer to @EmergMgtRDOS for more info on the alert— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 21, 2018
We’ve set up an air task force to help B.C. with the #BCwildfire. It includes Sea King and Griffon helicopters and a Hercules aircraft.— CAF Operations (@CFOperations) August 21, 2018
Visit our site for details on what they will do to support @BCGovFireInfo: https://t.co/1DFhmUpauE pic.twitter.com/lGTMCkV3P8
Much of British Columbia remains under a smoky skies advisory, indicated by grey on the map below.
Smoky skies bulletins are in place for Northwestern BC, Eastern BC, Central and Southern Interior, Central and South Coast, and Vancouver Island. See Environment Canada or the province's website for more details.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the health risk from air quality was considered moderate, high or very high across the province. On Vancouver Island, the West Shore, Nanaimo, Parksville and the Comox Valley are ranked very high (10+), and Duncan, Victoria and Saanich are high (10). More information can be found here.
Find out our air quality health index current observation and forecasts here: https://t.co/IUcFgaToA7. For more information on the AQHI, click here: https://t.co/GuLB2RPb6U. FAQs can be accessed here: https://t.co/uJLLol7j9a #bcweather #BCwildfires #airquality pic.twitter.com/k8oMqGMxCL— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) August 20, 2018
Here's the smoke forecast covering Tuesday morning through Thursday morning:
The hot weather continues in B.C., with several new records set on Monday:
Easterly flow develops over #bcsouthcoast due to trough west of #vanisle. AQHI has reached 10+ for #abbotsford #hopebc #chilliwack. AQHI values will increase for Metro #Vancouver tonight and remain high for Monday. AQ forecast: https://t.co/MKnhzumMkp SWS: https://t.co/kmO2QDAv4x pic.twitter.com/y855NmWX8a— ECCC Weather British Columbia (@ECCCWeatherBC) August 19, 2018
There are several road closures in effect in B.C.
It was a dark and smoky morning in #CityofPG on Friday, as captured by our #BCHwy16 webcam at Peden Hill and Davis Rd, looking east. For side road closures and #BCWildfire info links see: https://t.co/sacyt9x1yp pic.twitter.com/ztzGT5bOAl— BC Transportation (@TranBC) August 20, 2018
This interactive map of active B.C. wildfires is based on data from the B.C. Wildfire Service. It was last updated at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2018.
Click on map icons for more information on each fire. Small yellow icons indicate fires that are 100 hectares or smaller. Small red icons are fires between 100 and 500 hectares. Large yellow icons are fires between 500 and 1,000 hectares. Small purple icons are 1,000 to 5,000 hectares. Large yellow icons indicate fires between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares. Large red icons are fires between 10,000 and 15,000 hectares. Large purple icons are 15,000 hectares and larger. You can zoom in or out by clicking on the + or - buttons in the lower right corner.
The largest fire on the map is the Ramsey Creek fire, estimated at almost 40,000 hectares.
For the most up-to-date information, see the B.C. Wildfire Service's map [might not load if there's high traffic]: B.C. active wildfires
Wildfires of note
Wildfires of note are wildfires that are highly visible or which pose a potential threat to public safety.
Southeast Fire Centre
• Blacktail Mountain
• Blazed Creek
• Bulldog Mountain (formerly South of Renata Creek)
• Coal Creek FSR
• Cross River
• Deer Creek
• Glenogle and Porcupine
• Hunter Creek
• Lost Dog Complex
• Lynch Creek
• McArthur Creek
• Meachen Creek
• Parks Canada wildfire -Kootenay wildfire complex
• Randal Creek
• Sage Creek
• Santa Rosa
• Shannon Creek
• Syringa Creek
• Toronto Creek
• Whitetail Creek
Northwest Fire Centre
• Alkali Lake
• Cheslaslie Arm
• Elbow Lake
• Gilmore Lake Wildfire
• Island Lake Wildfire
• Nadina Lake
• Pope FSR
• Shovel Lake
• Torkelsen Lake
• Verdun Mountain
• W Babine River
Evacuation orders and alerts
#Evacuation Order issued for the community of Lower Post & Skooks Landing, northeast of #DeaseLake & southeast of #WatsonLake, #Yukon. The Lutz Creek Fire is burning south of the community. See map for full Order area. #BCwildfire pic.twitter.com/hFi8VrXRVo— Emergency Info BC (@EmergencyInfoBC) August 22, 2018
Expanded #Evacuation Alert issued by RD of Bulkley-Nechako for area east of the Nilkitkwa Forest Service Road along the shore of Babine Lake. Alert area now includes Smithers Landing. #BCwildfire. https://t.co/BaxBf3fCUc— Emergency Info BC (@EmergencyInfoBC) August 21, 2018
#Evacuation Order partially rescinded by RD of Bulkley-Nechako for Dog Creek Community west & east of #BCHwy27 & Echo Lake Bible Camp; revised Evacuation Alert for these & other areas in place. #BCwildfire— Emergency Info BC (@EmergencyInfoBC) August 21, 2018
#Evacuation Alert issued by the Regional District— Emergency Info BC (@EmergencyInfoBC) August 21, 2018
of #Okanagan #Similkameen for Darke Valley Area, including Darke Lake Provincial Park. https://t.co/vjTljV0ORZ #BCwildfire #OkanaganBC
Local regional districts and governments are the best source of information for up-to-date evacuation orders and alerts.
Fire danger rating
The fire danger rating (that is, the risk of a wildfire starting) for the province is updated daily at about 2 p.m.
What the danger class ratings mean
Low: Fires may start easily and spread quickly but there will be minimal involvement of deeper fuel layers or larger fuels.
Moderate: Forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. Carry out any forest activities with caution.
High: Forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Open burning and industrial activities may be restricted.
Extreme: Extremely dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start easily, spread rapidly, and challenge fire suppression efforts. General forest activities may be restricted, including open burning, industrial activities and campfires.
Bans on campfires and open fires are in place across B.C. Note: Fire bans and restrictions apply to all B.C. Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
Good to know: B.C. has some of the stiffest penalties for wildfire violations.
For more information on the bans, go to the B.C. Wildfire page.
Let us know if there's a broken link, or if there's something you'd like to see added to the list.
- B.C. Wildfire Service website
- B.C. Wildfire Service on Twitter
- B.C. Wildfire Service on Facebook
- The B.C. government has compiled a list of resources
- Updates from the provincial government will be posted here
Emergency alerts and evacuation orders
Weather and air quality
- Weather alerts from Environment Canada (includes smoky skies bulletins)
- Air quality health index forecast
- Smoke forecasts
Traffic and roads
- Check Drive B.C. for details on any road closures
- The Transportation Ministry has a list of travel advisories
- B.C. HighwayCams to see current highway conditions
- @DriveBC on Twitter
About the fires
Campfires in B.C. parks