It was two summers ago when British Columbia saw an unusual amount of forest fire activity. The summer of 2016 was not nearly as bad in British Columbia, however, fires did run rampage over parts of northern Alberta last summer. Those that followed Western Canadian news will remember the Fort McMurray fires from a year ago that lead to a full-scale evacuation of the northern Alberta city, one that is best known as the hub of Alberta's oil and gas industry.

Fires have now returned to British Columbia on a wide scale at this early stage of the summer of 2017. A plethora of fires are currently burning in the interior of British Columbia and the travel industry appears as though it will suffer some effects.

While the resort towns of Jasper, Banff, and Whistler are not in the interior of British Columbia, those towns do get fed tourists by transportation companies that are currently reporting or expecting service disruptions.

VIA Rail will operate if safe

VIA Rail is a major rail company that operates in western Canada and across the prairies. With routes that go through British Columbia, the rail company connects passengers from Alberta to either Prince Rupert or downtown Vancouver and to some points in between. As of Wednesday morning (Pacific Time), VIA Rail had posted a "Travel Advisory" prominent on their home page. It read: "Due to forest fires in BC, trains 1 & 2 are experiencing delays. We will continue to operate as long as it is safe to do so. We will keep our customers informed." The post recommends that customers or those awaiting travelers to stay on top of arrival and departure times.

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Greyhound cancels some routes

Greyhound, the bus line company that specializes in intercity transportation in North America, is another major transportation company serving western Canada. Among other unrelated service alerts, they currently (as of Wednesday morning) list six service routes that are "canceled until further notice" due to the "FOREST FIRES...OF BRITISH COLUMBIA" (all caps use is Greyhound's).

Those schedules are between the northern and small city of Prince George and the more southern small city of Kamloops. Routes between Kamloops to Cache Creek are also currently canceled. The website for Greyhound also lists a Quesnel schedule to Vancouver and a Chilliwack schedule to Quesnel as "canceled until further notice." Quesnel is a small city in the interior while Chilliwack is just east of Vancouver on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Whether the travel disruptions get worse or improve will certainly depend on the situation with the fires. That in itself is partly dependent on weather. Travelers planning to go through the BC interior should certainly be double checking their routes and staying on top of regular updates.