An emergency management company, Safeguard, was deployed to help at the Shovel Lake fire then sent home three days later by BC Wildfire Service. (Photo Black Press)

B.C. 2018 wildfire season may be coming to an end

As of Aug 30, the total cost of fire suppression for the BC Wildfire Service is $360 million.

The worst wildfire season in B.C. history may be coming to an end.

“We are heading into a fairly cool, wet pattern. It’s probably safe to say the worst is over,” Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said last week.

“But there are definitely some areas of the province that are still very much under threat. It is also not uncommon to see a relatively warm September as well.”

An estimated 1,252,000 hectares burned this season breaking the previous record of 1, 216,00 hectares in 2017.

As of Aug 30, the total cost of fire suppression for the BC Wildfire Service is $360 million.

“Looking at the last five years, at money spent in terms of this date, this would be the second most spent with the first being last year,” said Skrepnek. “For comparison sake, as of this date in 2017, our estimated cost we are sitting at a little over $442 million.”

A portion of the evacuation order issued on Aug. 16 for the Shovel Lake fire by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is being rescinded and an evacuation alert remains in place for east of Sutherland River Park to west of Marie FSR.

An evacuation order remains in effect for the north shore of Fraser Lake to the middle of Sutherland River Park and east of the center of Taltapin Lake to west of Dog Creek FSR.

Meanwhile, the massive Alkali Lake wildfire as efforts now shift to recovery and access to Telegraph Creek.

Several millimetres of rain the middle of last week helped keep the fire from spreading beyond its 118,300 hectare boundary. Any growth is expected mostly in unpopulated areas to the north, which prompted officials to remove the blaze from the fires of note list.

With files from Quinn Bender

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