Damage from the Hanceville-Riske Creek fire is extensive along Highway 20, which remains closed around Kleena Kleene. (Monica Lamb-Yorski/Williams Lake Tribune)

VIDEO: Cariboo backcountry ban lifted as risk eases

Campfires allowed again in Prince George, Northwest districts

With progress being made to contain the largest fires burning in the Interior, B.C. Wildfire Service officials have lifted the campfire ban for most of northern B.C. and removed the backcountry access ban for the Cariboo region.

Campfire bans remain in the Vanderhoof Forest District, and the Nadina Forest District including Houston, Burns Lake and Granisle west of Prince George. Local fire departments should be consulted on their own restrictions, said Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the service.

Fires bigger than half a metre square remain off limits across the province, and the off-road vehicle ban remains in place for the Cariboo.

The backcountry ban for the Cariboo region “was a pretty extraordinary move,” Skrepnek said. “People were literally not allowed to use lakes, recreational use was not allowed.”

Buffer zones around existing fires in the Cariboo will be kept off limits until they are safe.

Conditions also have improved in the southeast region, with an evacuation order near Salmo downgraded to an alert and Highway 6 reopened from Nelway to Highway 3.

Skrepnek said while Kootenay conditions are mainly stable or improving with 39 fires in the southeast region, a fire on the U.S. side of the border is being watched closely. It is burning about 20 km south of the U.S. border near the Montana community of Newgate, near Lake Koocanusa.

WATCH: Aerials of wildfire damage in B.C.’s Kootenay National Park

The largest fires continue to be those sparked by a single dry lightning storm that passed through the Fraser Canyon and Cariboo region July 6. The Plateau fire, a combined name for what was 19 fires burning west of Quesnel and northwest of Williams Lake, was at 4,647 square km as of Wednesday and remains the largest fire on record for B.C.

The Elephant Hill fire near Ashcroft was estimated at 1,660 square km and also remained stable, 35 per cent contained as hundreds of firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment work on guard areas to prevent spreading.

Just Posted

Quesnel RCMP arrest alleged car thief

A police dog was called in to track the suspect this morning in North Quesnel

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

Quesnel Chamber of Commerce hosts post-wildfire business meeting

10 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Evacuation program helps local businesses

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

Most Read