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Aug. 2, 2003


Thousands flee B.C. fire


Kamloops, B.C. — A massive wildfire that prompted the B.C. government to declare a state of emergency in the Thompson-Nicola district Friday destroyed dozens of homes in the community of Barriere, emergency officials said Friday night.


This is the worst situation we've had and the driest circumstances that we've measured in the last 50 years," said Mr. Campbell in an interview.

The McLure-Barriere fire is one of 328 active fires in British Columbia.

It's believed 171 were caused by people and the rest by lightning.

A total of 280 square kilometres have been burned by major blazes so far and the effort to combat them involves about 1,800 firefighters and costs about $2.5-million per day.

More than 800 firefighters, nine water bombers, 21 helicopters, 34 bulldozers and 20 water trucks worked to try and contain the out of control blaze.

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Aug. 2, 2003. 01:49 PM


B.C. firefighters face hot, dry winds


Tiffany Crawford



KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Crews fighting wildfires that have forced more than 7,500 southern B.C. residents from their homes faced more hot, dry, windy weather today.


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Last Updated Sat, 02 Aug 2003 14:26:24


B.C. fires grow, along with destruction


KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Forest fires in British Columbia continued spreading at an alarming rate Saturday, destroying homes and businesses in the Thompson River valley.


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Sunday, Aug. 3, 2003



B.C.'s worst fire season in 50 years

Kamloops, B.C. — A series of wildfires continued attacking the southern B.C. region around Kamloops on Saturday, part of the worst fire onslaught the province has seen in five decades.

About 8,500 in the Thompson-Nicola and Thompson-Okanagan regions were forced from their homes as flames ate through tinder-dry forests and grasslands.

Another 1,000 people were ordered out of Hillcrest, on Alberta's southern border with British Columbia, after a stubborn fired moved closer to the historic mining town.

Thousands more residents were alerted to flee on a moment's notice as weather forecasts warned of continued high temperatures and gusty winds.

The rampant fires prompted B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell to extend a state of emergency to the entire province.

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 Posted: 3:28 AM EDT (0728 GMT)


Thousands flee Canadian blazes


TORONTO, Canada (AP) -- The worst fire season in a half-century in the western province of British Columbia has forced more than 8,500 residents from their homes, officials say. No deaths were reported.


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Aug. 3, 2003. 01:00 AM


Thousands flee raging fires in Alberta, B.C.

75 homes destroyed in Kamloops region


1,000 evacuated near scenic Crowsnest Pass

KAMLOOPS, B.C.—A series of wildfires swept through southern British Columbia around Kamloops yesterday, the worst fire onslaught the province has seen in five decades.

More than 10,000 people in the Thompson-Nicola and Thompson-Okanagan regions were forced from their homes as flames ate through tinder-dry forests and grasslands.

Another 1,000 people were ordered out of Hillcrest, on Alberta's southern border with British Columbia, when a roaring forest fire came within just three kilometres of the historic mining town yesterday.

The rampant fires prompted B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell to extend a state of emergency yesterday to the entire province.


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Sunday, Aug. 3, 2003



Ontario, Alberta send firefighting help to B.C.

Kamloops, B.C. — Hard-pressed B.C. fire crews are getting support from Alberta and Ontario to tackle rampant wildfires that have destroyed homes and turned thousands of southern B.C. residents into refugees.

Alberta firefighting crews were already on the ground Sunday, battling a fire north of here that crossed a wide river overnight. An incident-management team was expected to arrive later Sunday from Ontario.

Members of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry were also being sent from their base in Edmonton to support the firefighting effort, freeing local crews to concentrate on the most serious threats.

... ... ...

The fires have forced about 10,000 residents from their homes.

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Aug. 3, 2003. 01:40 PM


Ontario to help fight B.C. forest fires

More than 350 fires burning in tinder-dry interior


... ... ...


Evacuation centres are set up in Kamloops, Vernon and 100 Mile House.

The province is doling out financial assistance through its emergency social services to evacuees.

Each person is eligible to receive $150 for new clothing. Adults and youth are receiving $42.50 for meals each day and children are getting half that amount. As well, families are getting between $70 and $100 for a hotel room.

B.C. businesses also set up a "Fire Aid" drive, asking people do donate blankets, water, sleeping bags, pillows and light clothing for evacuees at drop-off points at London Drugs stores in the Vancouver area and B.C. Interior.

Volunteers were also working with Kamloops SPCA workers to try to rescue pets and livestock left behind by fleeing residents.


... ... ...


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Aug. 4, 2003. 08:21 AM


11,000 flee worst fires in 50 years

Kamloops fires continue to grow


More hot, dry weather predicted


Carol Harrington

Canadian Press


KAMLOOPS, B.C.—Wildfires that have forced more than 11,000 southern B.C. residents from their homes are rapidly growing despite efforts from hard-pressed firefighters, officials said yesterday.

Although firefighters have made progress in specific areas, new thermal images and calculations show that three major fires in the Kamloops area have expanded and the six-day forecast is predicting more dry, hot weather.


Hampering the firefighting mission is the fact pilots flying the 37 waterbombing planes and helicopters have been working so much overtime.

Most are now restricted to 12 flying hours each day, said Jeff Berry, manager of the B.C. Forest Service air tanker program.



The military will come in, we will put them through a very quick boot camp and they will be on the line, helping us with firefighting," said Denis Gaudry of the B.C. Forest Service.



Waterbombers have been brought in from New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.



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In pictures: Canada wild fires







Last Updated, 04 Aug 2003 12:48:27


B.C. fires still growing


KAMLOOPS, B.C. - As many as 80 homes in towns north of Kamloops, B.C., have been destroyed in massive forest fires that continue to grow.

... ... ...

"I've been in this business almost 30 years and I've never witnessed the levels of dryness of the fuels that are here," he said. The weather has been dry, hot and windy in the area, and the damage could be much worse than it is.

... ... ...

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Last Updated Mon, 04 Aug 2003 13:01:03


Fires keep Alberta communities in danger

BLAIRMORE, ALTA. - Firefighters say cooler temperatures and overcast skies could help in the fight against Alberta wildfires, but high winds remain a threat to several communities.

About 1,000 more people in the Crowsnest Pass area of Alberta were forced to leave their homes Sunday because of forest fires still burning out of control.


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Monday, August 4, 2003 Posted: 4:41 PM EDT (2041 GMT)


Forest fires ravage western Canada


KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (AP) -- Al Beaver has spent 30 years tracking forest fires, and he says what he sees in western Canada is unprecedented.


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Aug. 5, 2003. 01:00 AM



`Frightening' fires take toll on west

B.C.'s Strawberry Hill blaze contained But evacuations continue in other areas


Daniel Girard




B.C. remains in a state of emergency as the worst wildfires in half a century — some believed to have been touched off by careless actions and discarded cigarettes — continue to rip through tinder dry forests that are the lifeblood to many.

Next door in southwestern Alberta, where blazes have forced about 2,000 people from their homes in the Crowsnest Pass area, fire officials reported some progress yesterday as skies clouded, temperatures cooled and winds eased.



B.C. Forest Services spokesperson Denis Gaudry told reporters yesterday that the McClure-Barriere fire, about 50 kilometres north of Kamloops, showed "substantial growth" overnight and now covers about 84 square kilometres.



Late yesterday afternoon, residents around the Sun Peaks Resort, 25 kilometres northeast of Kamloops, were told to evacuate the area as the fire moved in on them.



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August 5, 2003


Western fires rage on; thousands still stranded

- B.C. fires 'unpredictable' - Hot weather offers no relief - Dozens of homes destroyed - 2,800 B.C. residents go home


Matthew Ramsey and Carol Harrington


CanWest News Service, with files from The Canadian Press



Hot, dry weather continued to make the situation unpredictable in B.C., where officials were unable to give a full picture of the destruction wrought over the past few days. At least 75 homes were confirmed destroyed in the southern B.C. towns of McLure, Louis Creek and Barriere. About 150 outbuildings and the Tolko Mill in Louis Creek were also reduced to ash and rubble.



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Thats exactly what I do. I like very much to be up to date with world events that are of interest to me. After finding out how much I was spending a month on papers, magazines and so on, I just made up a cheaper and easier way of getting all the World events in a very short time...

With just a few more clicks I share some of the info with our fellows of the air world that might be of interest to, at least, some of them...

BTW, but I keep a very close look at the "views" counter and if I see the numbers stagnating I stop...

So far the views are on the several dozens a day level, thats why you are still getting the news... Otherwise the flow of info would have already dried up 2.gif

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Think ill stop buying newspapers,I can read it all here2.gif

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Last Updated Wed, 06 Aug 2003 9:39:02


Alberta firefighters say next few days critical


CROWSNEST PASS, ALTA. - Fire officials say rain that fell in Crowsnest Pass on Tuesday, coupled with cooler temperatures and light winds, is helping crews contain the Lost Creek fire.


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Last Updated Wed, 06 Aug 2003 10:07:48


B.C. fire emergency remains in effect: Campbell

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell says the province-wide state of emergency won't be lifted any time soon, despite promising news in the battle against the forest fires.

· INDEPTH: Fighting Fires


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Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2003


B.C. Premier describes 'awesome' wildfire effect


Kamloops, B.C. — B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell described a charred village obliterated by a wildfire as "awful and awesome" after getting a bird's eye view of the area Tuesday.

Mr. Campbell, on a one-day visit to the area of southern British Columbia hit by the flames, flew through smoke-filled skies in a helicopter to look at the effects of one aggressive wildfire that started last Wednesday apparently by a discarded cigarette.

The Premier expressed amazement at the extent of the damage and the fire's speed as it annihilated the village of Louis Creek, about 50 kilometres north of Kamloops.

"There's virtually no structures left standing," he said. "The mill is a flat chunk of land. You can see sort of charred areas where something may have once been and you guess what it once was."

"It's like a vacuum sucked the life out of the area."


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Wednesday, August 06, 2003



B.C. fires bring more grief to lumber, tourism

Recovery hurt by blow to economic drivers


John Greenwood

Financial Post


VANCOUVER - British Columbia's worst fire season in half a century has badly hurt the lumber and tourism industries, the province's biggest economic drivers, both still struggling from the impact of the softwood lumber dispute and SARS.

"Everything is working against the economy rebounding," said John Winter, president of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.


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