Headlines
Written by The Canadian Press
July 21, 2017, Calgary - A popular Rocky Mountain resort in Banff National Park was preparing Thursday to move out its guests to make way for crews fighting a wildfire raging in the nearby backcountry.

Sunshine Village, a ski hill that also offers summer hiking on the Alberta-British Columbia boundary, was about 2 1/2 kilometres from the
flames, but was not under threat.

However, about 150 people staying at Sunshine's hotel were being told they would have to leave by midday Friday, said resort spokeswoman Kendra Scurfield.

Parks Canada incident commander Rick Kubian said the property was being set up as a staging area for firefighters because it provides better access to the Verdant Creek fire, which covered 25 to 30 square kilometres in Kootenay National Park and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in B.C.

That means the area will be busy with heavy equipment and helicopters. The air could also become more smoky.

''It's a much closer location and we'll be able to have our crews and equipment working from around the Sunshine area,'' Kubian said. ''It's just much safer to have that happen without visitors and guests in the area.''

There were 75 people and six helicopters fighting the fire on Thursday as it spread into a remote and rugged area about 25 kilometres from the town of Banff.

Kubian said the fire itself was not posing any immediate risk to guests at Sunshine, but Parks Canada asked the resort to clear guests with enough notice so that they could leave in an orderly fashion.

''It's not panicked. It's not in a hurry,'' he said.

Scurfield said the hotel's 84 rooms were fully booked and Sunshine was working to find alternative accommodations in the area. The hotel's website said it expected the closure to last two to five days.

''Our No. 1 priority is making sure that they are able to contain the fire and work together with Parks Canada to do so.''

The resort understands why firefighters need to use it as a staging area, said Scurfield.

''They've got very steep mountains, very narrow valleys, and it's been hard to put firefighters on the ground, so that has been a challenge in fighting it.''

Hiking trails in Sunshine Meadows have not been damaged and there is no threat to buildings at the resort, which includes restaurants and a day lodge in addition to the hotel.

''Parks has done a great job at preventing the fire from spreading into our area. They fought hard to prevent that.''
Written by Global News
July 21, 2017, Penticton, B.C. - An approximately one hectare brush fire damaged two homes and forced the short-term evacuation of forty properties in the West Bench subdivision near Penticton, on Thursday morning. Global News reports. | READ MORE
Written by CBC News
July 21, 2017, Winnipeg - A fire Thursday evening caused major damage to a suite in a Winnipeg apartment block and forced several residents from their homes. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Wellington Advertiser
July 21, 2017, Wellington City, Ont. - Three suspicious fires in Guelph-Eramosa and Erin kept firefighters busy Thursday morning. The three blazes, located within 10 kilometers of each other, are being treated as suspicious. The Wellington Advertiser reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Canadian Press
July 21, 2017, Whitehorse - With the forest fire situation in northern Yukon settling down, regional fire management officials are freeing personnel to fight fires in British Columbia.

Yukon Wildland Fire Information Officer George Maratos says most of the territory has a low fire danger rating, except for Old Crow, which is at a high rating.

He says 34 firefighters and four incident management staff will be sent to British Columbia early next week to help battle the devastating fires there.

He says if the situation does change in Yukon, the crews can be recalled. (CKRW)
Written by CBC News
July 20, 2017, McLeese Lake, B.C. - Over the last two weeks, Fort McMurray has been sending pickup trucks and tractor trailers filled with food, water and hygiene products to wildfire victims in British Columbia. But some of the volunteers have also been sending gear for volunteer firefighters who say they don't have enough equipment to fight the fires. Fire departments in McLeese Lake, Tyee Lake and Horsefly have received gear, foam, shovels, axes, hoses, backpack pumps and fuel, as part of these care packages. CBC News reports. | READ MORE 
Written by CTV News
July 20, 2017, Williams Lake, B.C. - Mounties have arrested a suspect and seized several guns after a B.C. firefighter's life was threatened in Williams Lake. The firefighter was working on Springfield Road when a group of men, who appeared to be agitated over back burning in the area, approached him on Monday. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Ottawa Citizen
July 20, 2017, Ottawa - An investigation is underway into a dramatic fire at a Petrie Island marina early Thursday that heavily damaged at least three boats. Flames were spotted at the Oziles’ Marina and Tackle Shop at about 4:30 a.m. The Ottawa Citizen reports. | READ MORE
Written by CBC News
July 20, 2017, Sudbury, Ont. - About 100 northern Ontario firefighters headed west on Wednesday to help fight wildfires that are ravaging parts of B.C.'s Interior. Crews left Sudbury, Ont., on Wednesday afternoon in a chartered aircraft and were expected to pick up crews in Dryden, Ont. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Canadian Press
July 20, 2017, Medicine Hat, Alta. - One home was destroyed and two others suffered extensive damage following an explosion and fire in Medicine Hat, Alta.
Written by CBC News
July 20, 2017, Surrey, B.C. - Four people have been displaced after a kitchen fire spread through a townhouse in Surrey Wednesday night. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Canadian Press
July 19, 2017, Victoria - British Columbia's new government is extending the state of emergency for two more weeks as wildfires sweeping across the province's Interior show no signs of slowing.

Premier John Horgan said his government's first priority is to support the more than 45,000 people displaced by the fires, which have so far torched more than 3,200 square kilometres of land.

''It's clear to me that we need to do more,'' Horgan told reporters, speaking outside the legislature in Victoria on his first full day as premier. ''We need to give additional support to the communities affected, and the first responders.''

The current state of emergency expires Friday and Horgan said he regrets having to lengthen it.

Horgan said people who are kept out of their homes for more than 14 days will get a second payment of $600, which will be paid out of a previously announced $100-million fund administered by the Canadian Red Cross.

''This is unprecedented,'' he said. ''Traditionally, when an emergency is declared, people are usually back in their homes within the two-week period. That may not be the case for many individuals.''

Some people are still out of their homes because of flooding earlier this year, and they are also eligible for the increased funds, he said.

Horgan said 80 per cent of the people who have registered at wildfire evacuation centres set up across the province have already received the first $600 instalment to help with food, shelter and other expenses.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Forests Minister Doug Donaldson have been tapped to co-chair a task force assigned with ensuring the emergency response is not disturbed by the transition between governments.

Donaldson said he spoke with former Forests Minister John Rustad on Tuesday afternoon and he supports a non-partisan approach.

''That's what people need and want,'' he said. ''Safety of the people first is what our concern is, their livestock, their pets and infrastructure.''

Calmer winds have allowed good progress building guards around scores of wildfires currently threatening communities in central and southern B.C., said chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek. He said the number of active fires is decreasing.

Mounties in Williams Lake issued a statement Wednesday that said a local resident had threatened to kill firefighters if they continued to conduct back burning. RCMP said the resident was with a group of men, one of whom was allegedly carrying a handgun on his hip.

RCMP located the 44-year-old resident, who acknowledged his statements were made in a ''time of extreme stress.'' Charges are not being considered, but to mitigate the risk, his firearm has been temporarily seized, police said.

Police arrested the 57-year-old man accused of wearing the handgun and found a loaded, insecure handgun and six rifles in his vehicle. His firearms were seized and he has a court appearance in early November.

The wildfire service said Wednesday that 155 fires are currently burning and 15 of those are threatening communities.

Fire information officer Navi Saini said a person was injured while driving in an evacuated area west of Williams Lake.

She said the person inside the vehicle had been in the area in an attempt to fight the fire.

''This incident is just an example that shows how the public getting involved can impact our own operations,'' she said.

Officials said Wednesday that a fire that destroyed eight homes north of Kelowna is 100 per cent contained and residents of 58 properties in Lake Country can immediately return home, although an evacuation alert remains in place.

A cause of that fire is still under investigation.

Residents of Cache Creek, which has a population of about 1,000, returned home Tuesday following a lengthy evacuation and Al Richmond, chairman of the Cariboo Regional District, said officials are co-ordinating re-entry plans for 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.

''We're in the middle of summer, so hot spots are going to exist and it's likely that those people when they come home could still be, particularly in the rural areas, on a state of alert for some time,'' Richmond said.

An air quality advisory that had been in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District was ended on Wednesday, after stronger winds improved the situation.
Written by CBC News
July 19, 2017, London, Ont. - London's fire chief says the department is struggling to keep up with inspections. John Kobarda made the remark during a council committee meeting that discussed posting fire-code convictions publicly on the city's website. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Calgary Sun
July 19, 2017, Calgary - Calgary firefighters responded to Rideau Park School Tuesday evening after smoke and flames were seen coming from the roof of the building. The Calgary Sun reports. | READ MORE
Written by The Times Colonist
July 19, 2017, Saanich, B.C. - Two people leapt from a bedroom window to escape the flames that engulfed a Saanich home early Tuesday. A woman inside the home awoke about 2:15 a.m. to find heavy smoke in the living room. She and the other occupant were able to escape and phone 911. The Times Colonist reports. | READ MORE
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