Cariboo-Chilcotin TRAVEL ADVISORY

Discussion in 'Canada' started by CaribooBC, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Thanks for the info. They have decided on a southern route instead. Unfortunately, their new route may actually not work out well either, as with the days around the total eclipse of sun on the 21st through central Oregon, roughly 2 million 'observers' from around the world will be in the area. Accommodation has been booked along the eclipse line for years. It's actually affected gasoline pricing from San Diego all the way to Kelowna for the last 1/2 of the summer.
    Slightly off topic for a bit, regarding the ferry ride from Pt. Hardy to Bella Coola, which for 2017 at least sounds bloody miserable especially on a bike, sitting out on an open barge with no cover!!. This from a resident of Mile 108, former owner of Hill's Health Ranch, and ministry of tourism advisor, my neighbour's son, from last Saturday afternoon:



    "
    Howdy Steve !!! My mom tells me to give you an update on the state of hwy in biking from Port Hardy-Bella Coola through to Vancouver, so here is what is happening on that!!

    Ferry Service from Port Hardy to Bella Coola: for 2017 you must catch the ferry to Prince rupert, and get off in Bella Bella, and then catch the nimpkish barge vessel to do the 8-9 hour trip to Bella Coola. HOWEVER, if you do this trip in 2018, there is a NEW ferry going direct from Hardy to Bella Coola in only `10 hours , a new ferry with comfortable seating, great on-board food and lots of acknowledgements of the Great Bear Rain Forest as you make the voyage.

    Hwy 20 from Bella Coola to Williams Lake is closed due to wildfires. What is getting little rep;orting in Vancouver media is the size and extent of the chilcotin fires, they are massive, and nothing else in BC is even close to the size of these fires. One fire alone is over 1200 sq. kilometres. So basically you cannot get out of Bella Coola, you can make it to the top of "The Hill", and then you are road-blocked from proceeding. Additionally, the Chilcotin Indian Bands (6 communities) want Hwy20 fully closed until at least Sept. 15. So you couild consider making the trip after Sept. 15....

    FYI....Hwy 97 from 70 Mile to Cache Creek is also closed, and has been closed for over a month due to the massive "Elephant Hill" fire, formerly known as Ashcroft-Cache Creek fire, which has NEVER been controlled and is now all the wya up to 70 Mile House, covering 130,000 hectares, or 320,000 acres, or 500 sq. miles, or 800 sq. km's.

    So you take hwy. 24 near 100 Mile House and go to Little Fort on Hwy 5, and go down the Coquihalla....

    I hope these added details help you and your group in deciding what to do!! I would wait till June of 2018, or at minimum, wait till after Sept. 15 this year...If you go this fall, let me know, as I know all the best lodges/resort/eateries along the Hwy from inside Bella Coola to Williams Lake...!!! Happy to help you plan the perfect itinerary.
    #41
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  2. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    " This from a resident of Mile 108, former owner of Hill's Health Ranch, and ministry of tourism advisor, my neighbour's son, from last Saturday afternoon" Pat and Juanita, great people :)
    The sizes of the fires that they gave you are from last week. Last Friday we had unprecedented firestorms caused by these fires" The Elephant Hill fire, which is only 12kms south of my home, grew 40,000 hectares in about 24 hours. The temperatures were in the mid to upper 30's, humidity was in the 4-6% range and winds were up to 80km/h. I have never been so scared in my life. We did get some rain on Sunday and we are now much cooler, especially at night. It is forecast to warm up again and there is more wind forecast for this weekend. I have moved my whole collection to a couple of safer locations. You would not believe the smoke that we had. It was dark at 4:30pm and had to use lights outside to see what you were doing. We had burnt fir/pine needles and leaves falling. We are far from being safe and are anxiously awaiting the fall rains.
    #42
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  3. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

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    This is a good site to check for the locations and status of current fires:
    Mobile BC Firemap
    #43
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  4. dustin2

    dustin2 VFR800

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    Great link, thanks. Better than the one I have been using to track the situation.

    I am also using this link to track the smoke forecast. Pretty neat.
    #44
  5. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Been here awhile

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    I haven't found the smoke forecast to be all that accurate, at least not when I've made the mistake of looking out the window and comparing the actual to the forecast!
    #45
  6. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Yes, Pat and Juanita are good people.
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  7. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    Mother Nature took another punch at us yesterday. Massive winds, but the fire was kept inside the control lines. We are optimistic that we may have seen the end of the spread of this fire. Another front is forecast for next Wednesday/Thursday, hopefully it stays within control lines then as well. It is now much cooler and we have even seen a little rain. It is starting to feel like fall is on its way.
    #47
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  8. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

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    I'm glad to hear things are looking up a bit for you. I'm sure everyone in the region is hoping for an early fall. Hopefully the cooler weather will slow down the fire but it could be winter before it is out completely. We've had cooler weather with a lot of wind in the Okanagan as well the last couple of days. Fortunately we don't have any fires near by at the moment to get fanned up. We're hoping it stays that way.
    #48
  9. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    I was talking to Ron from Kamloops today. He's amazed at what smoke free air is like to breath.
    #49
  10. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    Drove over the Rogers pass today. There are fires within about 200m of the road on the east side of the summit.

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  11. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    New fire at Harrison Hot Springs. Human causes. Fuck.
    #51
  12. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    I drove out HWY #20 yesterday. Got into the burnt out zone just west of the brake check on the west side of the Sheep Creek Bridge. There was a field that had a cat break cut through the centre of it, one side burnt the other side unscathed. There were horses in it and they were feasting on the new growth in the burnt off section. The unburnt section was all dead, dried out grass with very little nutrition for them. The burnt off section was full of new green growth. Sometimes fire can be a great restorer of the environment, it's just too bad that we get in the way and build homes and ranches in these high hazard areas.
    #52
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  13. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Forest fires are usually always a restorer of vegetation. our recent arrival to this earth, in relative terms, means we are just fodder in the scheme of things if mother nature makes things like this possible. Human caused fires are a majority unfortunately today, but I'm wondering if we can imagine the kinds of huge fires that happened in the millions of years before we arrived/
    #53
  14. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    Before we arrived and started building houses, large-scale commercial logging didn't exist, and forests were better able to withstand fires, or at least survive with a lot less damage.
    #54
  15. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    I will disagree with you.
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  16. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    So, we have had three days of wind, Tuesday and Wednesday, the wind ripped from the south blowing the fire straight at us again. Today, the wind reversed and we got some rain. We do not know how far the fire advanced towards us, I called the fire information officer for this fire and all she would say is that it was not a significant advance, but would not say if it was a couple hundred meters or a few kilometers when I asked her. The latest fire maps for this are now over five days old. Not a comforting feeling especially when the next rain is not forecast for at least another week.
    Highways, we win one and then we lose one. Hwy #20 from Bella Coola to Williams Lake reopened today, no restrictions as long as you stay on the highway. Hwy #33 from Kelowna to Rock Creek is closed due to a forest fire just east of Kelowna. The fire started right beside the highway and by the time they tried putting it out, it was running up the hill away from the highway, towards homes :(
    #56
  17. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Been here awhile

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    #57
  18. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    So what is the status of the situation there today? A buddy of mine who's in Kamloops rode in there today, or at least Cache Creek, Ashcroft, and says it's pretty bad. Pat an Juanita are visiting today, didn't want to intrude, but I take that as a sign things are settling down a bit? Sounds like the weather today in Ashcroft was upwards of 40c.
    #58
  19. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    It's really bad, the fire took another run towards my place, now only about 7 kms away. Winds were terrible, hot and dry. It was another 30-30-30 day. Temp over 30, humidity under 30, winds over 30km/h. I expect the evac order for us tomorrow. A bunch of homes south of us were tactically evac'ed by the RCMP tonight. This fire is headed straight for Sheridan Lake. Many million dollar homes and resorts there.
    #59
  20. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    Best of luck, CaribouBC. We're thinking of you.

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    #60