The first significant windstorm of British Columbia’s unseasonably warm fall buffeted much of the province Monday, but only a few hundred customers remained without power less than 24 hours later.
BC Hydro says heavy wind gusts affected the northern and central Interior, leaving some residents of Prince George, Smithers, Burns Lake and Fort Nelson in the dark overnight.
A toppled tree cut power to more than 300 customers in Campbell River late Monday, with no indication when the lights would be on again for affected residents in the North Island city.
Environment Canada’s special weather statements advising of the blustery conditions were lifted overnight, as the weather office reported the stiffest gusts reached about 100 kilometres per hour in the waters just off Victoria late Monday, but conditions everywhere had eased by morning.
There was concern the winds could fan several out-of-control wildfires as drought affects many regions of the province, and the B.C. Wildfire Service reports a blaze near Grand Forks has grown slightly to just under two square kilometres, but there’s no significant change to a small wildfire on Vancouver Island, just west of Duncan.
Meanwhile a pair of wildfires continue to burn near Port Alberni, roughly a kilometre southwest of Cox Lake.
As of Monday evening, the larger of the two fires had shrunk from four hectares to 3.45 hectares and was classified as out of control, while the smaller blaze (0.3 hectares) was considered under control.
CHEK News has reached out to the BC Wildfire Service for an update on the fires Tuesday morning.
The weather office says the windstorm will leave slightly cooler conditions across the province Tuesday, but warm weather will return later in the week, potentially bringing more record-setting heat.
In Victoria, temperatures are forecast to hover around the 20-degree mark for another straight week, likely making it one of the hottest Octobers the region has ever seen.