Few fires in a wild, wet summer

B.C. taxpayers got a break on forest fire costs this summer, but the transportation ministry is still busy with major repairs after an unseasonable number of road washouts.

The Bitter Creek bridge near Stewart in northwest B.C. washed out last week

The Bitter Creek bridge near Stewart in northwest B.C. washed out last week

B.C. taxpayers got a break on forest fire costs this summer, but the transportation ministry is still busy with major repairs after an unseasonable number of road washouts.

The latest closure is Highway 37A, leaving the northwestern B.C. community of Stewart without road access until a bridge 10 km east of the community is replaced.

The Bitter Creek bridge washed out last week after more than 180 mm of rain fell over two days. Several other sections of Highway 37A were also washed out, forcing groceries to be brought in by barge along with heavy equipment for repairs.

Highway 37 north of Stewart to the Yukon border has also been closed to traffic due to mudslides and flooding.

The ministry reports that this year in the Bulkley-Stikine highways district there has been damage to 20 km of road, two bridges and eight large culverts. Another two bridges, two large culverts and two km of road have needed repair in the Fort George district, and two km of road damaged in the Skeena district. Estimated cost of emergency response and repair is $5 million for the three areas.

Heavy rains left a larger mess in the northeast of the province. A 64-km section of Highway 97 between Prince George and Chetwynd remains under construction after a 130 mm downpour in late June caused damage to 77 sites in the Pine Pass.

Subsequent downpours in the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John areas damaged more bridges and roads, with emergency response and repair costs for the Peace region estimated at $38 million.

The Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley were spared widespread damage during the wet early summer. Major events include flood damage to five km of Highway 3 in the Skagit Valley, and a late-June landslide that briefly closed the Trans-Canada Highway at Herrling Island north of Chilliwack.

In the Okanagan and Kootenay regions there were 60 weather damage events including slides, washouts, plugged or failed culverts and bridge approach washouts. Response and recovery costs in those regions are estimated at $18.7 million.

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Fraser Health adds 4 first-come-first-serve vaccination clinics to Surrey

First 1,000 people to show up to receive vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in South Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his ‘Community Connections’ videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Gwenne Farrell

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
Wildfire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares, BC Fire Service on site

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Most Read