The BC Wildfire Service says weather over the long weekend caused aggressive fire activity on a number of active blazes in the province’s central fire zone. The service says the Vanderhoof and Fort St. James fire zones saw less humidity than expected, and hot temperatures and strong winds that saw increased fire behaviour in the region. In the Okanagan, the regional district says the McDougall Creek wildfire is now about 137 square kilometres and even with a bit of rain, Sunday saw greater fire behaviour while hundreds of properties remain on evacuation order and thousands more on alert. There are more than 430 fires burning in BC, and more than 2070 have been reported this season, burning more than 22,200 square kilometres.
The Central Okanagan Regional District says it expects to finish telling property owners about the fate of their homes affected by the McDougall Creek wildfire later this week. The regional district’s emergency operations centre says the process of contacting people whose homes were lost or damaged by the blaze will wrap up on September 7th. The centre says it has emailed people whose properties are under evacuation order that were damaged by flames but still livable, and will allow people to plan their return upon the orders being lifted. Centre director Corie Griffiths says it’s stressful for evacuees who don’t know the status of their homes, but hopes that telling people will ease the stress as they await the greenlight to return.
A jury in a coroner’s inquest into the 2015 shooting death of a man at a traffic stop says the province and the RCMP should speed up the introduction of body cameras for front line police officers. The inquest probed the death of Waylon Edey, a 39-year-old man, who was shot in the head by RCMP Constable Jason Tait during an attempted traffic stop in January 2015. Tait was acquitted of manslaughter charges in November 2020, and a coroner’s inquest into the death was held in late August, and wrapped up on September 1st. The jury returned eight recommendations, including new laws to prevent prohibited drivers from getting behind the wheels, new ICBC policies around insuring vehicles owned by prohibited drivers, and more de-escalation training for police officers.
Metro Vancouver says wildfire crews quickly snuffed out a blaze in the Coquitlam watershed over the Labour Day weekend. The regional government says there were no open flames and not a lot of smoke, but the blaze is still classified as a smouldering groundfire with very low risk of spread or growth. Metro Vancouver says it was caused by lightning and aerial patrols located the blaze for a speedy response. It says the fire was reported on Saturday and an attack crew used fire guards to stop its spread while a helicopter dropped water from above and crews worked on Sunday to put out remaining hot spots.
A Vancouver-based mining company says it’s resuming exploration activities at a site in Quebec that had been halted due to wildfire activity. Arbor Metals says exploration is resuming at the firm’s Jarnet Lithium project and a team is set to return to the site in the next few days. Arbor CEO Mark Ferguson says he’s thankful to the company’s exploration team and to fire crews working to keep the region safe. The company says drilling at the site in the province’s James Bay region has shown “significant lithium mineralization.”
The BC government says a new school opening in Coquitlam is set to serve the growing community as students return to school after the summer break. Premier David Eby says Coquitlam is a place where more families are settling, and the new Coast Salish Elementary School has 430 spaces for students in the district. The province provided more than 38-million-dollars for the school, with the Coquitlam School District providing five million. The BC government says the district also received three million dollars for new childcare facilities at the school, and another elementary school in the city is under construction.