BC Wildfires 2023

Few people know about Scotch Creek on the once beautiful vacation spot on Shuswap Lake in the BC Interior, but here are the residents of this small community living through an apocalypse, and surviving as they escape the fast-moving Adams Creek fire by boat. The wildfire ran 20 kilometres in 12 hours. There are 3,000 residents currently evacuating the Shuswap area.

This is what’s left of Scotch Creek, B.C. after wildfire – CBC News (Aug 19, 2023)

As of today, EmergencyInfoBC reports 384 wildfires with 132 evacuation orders or alerts declared in the province, resulting in tens of thousands of people who now find themselves on the move to escape danger. The Province of BC declared a State of Emergency yesterday, and are actively discouraging vacationers from visiting the communities and areas affected by wildfire. Accommodation is now needed to house evacuees and firefighting crews, many of whom are being imported from other areas of the province and from overseas.

The whole province - BC Emergency Map
The whole province – BC Emergency Map

Those very large wildfires in the northeast corner of the province (see map above) are considered out of control and will remain that way likely until they burn themselves out in a few months’ time. The BC Wildfire Service simply doesn’t have the resources to make progress on those wildfires, so they only send in firefighting crews when a community is threatened.

The BC Southern Interior - BC Emergency Map
The BC Southern Interior – BC Emergency Map

The Adams Lake wildfire in the Shuswap area appears in the top right corner of the above map. The large McDougall Creek Wildfire that impacted residents of West Kelowna over the last few days appears on the right centre area of the above map. This dramatic wildfire was featured on news coverage over the last several days, with flames reaching high into the air as the trees “candled”.

Thankfully, where we live on southern Vancouver Island there is currently no threat of wildfire. In fact, wildfire evacuees from as far away as the North West Territories are sheltering here with friends and relatives. That doesn’t mean we are completely immune to the effects of wildfires. Here is an aerial photo (below) of a smoky sunrise yesterday morning from our home here in Victoria. More wildfire photos from my Flickr online photo hosting site.

A smoky sunrise over the city

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