Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Fire containment up, evacuees return in California

Wildfire Destroys Dozens Of Homes Near Oroville British Columbia braces for more wildfires
Heather Davidson | 13 July, 2017, 01:36

Enbridge fell 0.4 percent to C$51.08 at 4:15 p.m.in Toronto.

The City of Vancouver's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team has joined the fight against the wildfires devastating vast swaths of B.C.

This wildfire season has surprised many, after ample snowfall this past winter and a very wet spring suggested that a mild forest fire season was in store, said Lori Daniels, a forest and conservation sciences professor with the University of British Columbia. On Monday, the company had said the blazes were in the "vicinity" of the pipeline. The pipeline moves over 300,000 barrels of crude oil a day through central B.C. from the Alberta oil fields.

At least 10 of the fires are threatening residential communities including Williams Lake (pop. ~11,000), Boston Flats (pop. ~7,000 ), 100 Mile House (pop. ~2,000), Ashcroft (pop. ~1,500), 150 Mile House (pop. ~1,000), and Cache Creek (pop. ~1,000).

At the time of evacuation, the mill was secure. They did not disclose the cost per day of the shutdown.

A company spokesman said they are uncertain about how long operations will be shut down or the economic impact of the shutdown. It said the sites have total annual production capacity of 800 million board feet of lumber and 270 million square feet of plywood.

Tolko Industries Ltd. said on its Facebook page its Williams Lake mills won't be operating until further notice.

The Tsilhqot'in Nation, which includes six communities near Williams Lake, says four of them are threatened and many people have already left their homes but some are staying behind to try to save them. One of the links leads to an interesting paper titled Three Types of Horizontal Vortices Observed in Wildland Mass and Crown Fires, by Donald A. Haines and Mahlon C. Smith. "No other Teck operation is affected by wildfires at this time".

On Tuesday one of the most risky blazes - the Whittier Fire in Santa Barbara in coastal Southern California - had spread to 11,281 acres with 48% of the blaze contained, according to Cal Fire.

Forestry products are a significant driver of the economy of British Columbia, which bills itself as the world's biggest exporter of softwood lumber, a product targeted by US tariffs in April as a trade dispute escalated.

Vancouver-based EnGold Mines Ltd said it had suspended exploration in British Columbia, home to all of its operations.

The town of Williams Lake in British Columbia's Cariboo region was put on evacuation alert Tuesday as wildfires burned across the heart of the Western Canadian province, Canada's public broadcaster CBC reported. For now, the supply route for fuel coming from Prince George and Edmonton remains open, he added.

One open-pit mine about 20 kilometres south of Princeton, B.C., lost power for about 36 hours due to the fires, but is now running again, said Copper Mountain Mining Corporation spokesman Dan Gibbons.

"We weren't prepared for it of course because it happened in a blink of an eye, but we snapped into action and everyone did their part", he said.

Crews were making progress against dozens of wildfires across California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

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