August 23, 2017
Firefighters are Battling the Biggest Blaze in B.C.’s History
British Columbia is breaking all kinds of records — but not in a good way. The west coast of Canada is facing its biggest wildfire challenge yet, as hundreds of firefighters are battling the largest wildfire ever recorded in B.C. The blaze is the result of 19 wildfires merging together in the Chilcotin Plateau, creating a fire more than 467,000 hectares in size that stretches more than 130 kilometres. The wildfire is so big that firefighters have been forced to set up two command posts (one on each end) in order to coordinate efforts between the 400 firefighters, 25 helicopters and dozens of pieces of heavy equipment that are all working together to battle the blaze. CBC
What Else You Need to Know
According to Kevin Skrepnek, with the B.C. Wildfire Service, firefighters are making good progress. Because of its size, he doesn’t expect it to be out any time soon; in fact, he said it would probably burn for “some time” and that it would be quite awhile before anyone involved would be “close to calling it contained or under control.” To put this in perspective, the biggest wildfire B.C. has ever seen was way back in 1958 when a 200,000-hectare blaze burned through the northeastern part of the province. To top it off, there have been more than 1,000 wildfires in B.C. since April 1, making 2017 the worst year for wildfires in B.C.’s history.