The 77 wildfires burning across B.C. could disrupt the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch's (BCLDB) deliveries to retailers, the government-owned distributor warned today.
The government liquor seller and distributor's warning is significant because it hints that overall retail supply chains are being strained by fires and could lead to goods shortages.
"Due to the early start of an anticipated active wildfire season, the [BCLDB] would like to proactively advise our customers that there is a possibility of temporary service disruptions that could result in delayed deliveries," the branch said in a note to retailers.
"We have been and will continue to make considerable efforts to work with our freight carriers to maintain regular service levels. The Wholesale Customer Centre will contact customers directly if your shipment will be impacted."
B.C. has seen 428 wildfires so far this year, according to the BC Wildfire Service. Of the 77 fires now burning, four were detected in the past 24 hours, according to government statistics. The BC Wildfire Service lists 27 fires as out of control.
The Cameron Bluffs wildfire on Vancouver Island is one that has in the past week disrupted the flow of people and cargo to places such as Port Alberni because it has forced Highway 4 to close.
A convoy with essential goods arrived in Port Alberni yesterday. Scheduled convoys between Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan are intended to keep vital supply lines open while the highway remains closed.
The detour route that convoy trucks are taking involves various gravel and forest-service roads, which add approximately four hours to the journey.
Elsewhere in the province, wildfires have forced countless people to evacuate their homes.
Near Tumbler Ridge, in B.C.'s northeast, the West Kiskatinaw River wildfire continues to blaze days after the town's 2,400 residents were put under an evacuation order.
Hundreds of people on land north of Fort St. John today were ordered to evacuate their homes because of the Donnie Creek wildfire in B.C.'s northwest, which is estimated to be B.C.'s second largest wildfire in history. Fire officials estimate the wildfire covers about 4,660 square kilometres.