FIRE REPORT: Kevin Skrepnek, the chief information officer for the B.C. Wildlife Service, reported Tuesday that there were 134 fires burning across the province. . . . To date, the fires have eaten up more than one million hectares, making this the worst fire season since 1912 which is as far back as the records go. . . . The monster west of Quesnel that was formed when at least 19 fires ran together hadn’t grown, but was more than 460,000 hectares in size. . . . As of Tuesday, there still were 2,600 people out of their homes, but that was down 1,200 from 24 hours earlier. There are another 12,400 folks on evacuation alert, which means they are ready to vacate on a moment’s notice. . . . Firefighters are anticipating thunderstorms with wind gusts and lightning as the week progresses, so who knows what’s ahead.

D Neil Manning (Vancouver, 2006-12) has signed a one-year contract with Cortina (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, with Fassa (Italy, Alps HL), he had seven goals and 27 assists in 38 games. He was second on the team in assists.

There are a few certainties in in life — Samuel L. Jackson in another abysmal movie, the president of the United States of America campaigning months after he won the election, tax time in the spring, Aaron Judge striking out . . . and Alan Caldwell chasing WHL rosters late in August. . . . For whatever reason, the WHL and its teams choose not to co-ordinate the release of training camp rosters, something that no doubt would be appreciated by all those fans out there with insatiable appetites for such information. In lieu of that, Alan Caldwell of Small Thoughts At Large gathers what information he can and posts the rosters on his blog. . . . For the next few weeks, you should make his blog right here a regular stopping off point, and if you can help him with info, by all means do so.

As expected, the Calgary Hitmen have added veteran WHL scout Gary Michalick to their scouting staff. Michalick has been a WHL scout since 1987. A Winnipegger, the 55-year-old Michalick worked with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1987-92), before joining the Brandon Wheat Kings. He also has scouted for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (2000-05) and has worked with Hockey Manitoba. . . . With the Hitmen, Michalick will focus on Manitoba and Saskatchewan. . . . The Hitmen also added five scouts to their staff — Peter Dubbeldam (B.C.), Chad Harden (Alberta), Ward Edwards and Jeff Calvert (both in Saskatchewan) and Tim Schick (Manitoba). . . . The Hitmen also have signed Darien Engelhardt as their equipment manager. From Regina, he spent last season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators. He also has worked with the Regina Pats (2011-14), Saskatoon Blades (2014-15) and U of Regina (2015-16).

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The Spokane Chiefs have added Adam Deadmarsh to their coach staff as an assistant who will work alongside head coach Dan Lambert, assistant Scott Burt and goaltending coach Ryan Cyr. . . . Deadmarsh, 42, played with the Portland Winterhawks (1991-95). His professional career was ended by concussion-related issues; he last played in 2002-03 when he got into 20 games with the Los Angeles Kings. . . . During his career, he won a Stanley Cup (Colorado Avalanche, 1996), a World Cup (U.S., 1996) and an Olympic silver medal (U.S., 2002). He was born in Trail, B.C., but his mother is American, and he has dual citizenship. . . . He worked as an assistant with the Avalanche for three seasons (2009-12). He left the position because he was still experiencing post-concussion syndrome. . . . Deadmarsh and his family have been living in Idaho.

Couple notes on the U of S class. Although Shynkaruk will attend U of S, still undecided on if he'll indeed play hockey there next season.

— Victor Findlay (@Finder_24) August 22, 2017

And finally, there were some rumours about Sask and former Kelowna Rockets D-Man Cole Martin. If he comes (unlikely) it'll be in early 2018.

— Victor Findlay (@Finder_24) August 22, 2017

The U of Saskatchewan Huskies will have former WHL G Taran Kozun in their training camp after he sat out last season. The WHL’s goaltender of the year for the 2014-15 season, Kozun played one season in the ECHL so didn’t play last season — actually, he was with the Chinook Hockey League’s Rosetown, Sask., Red Wings — in order to reclaim his U Sports eligibility. A native of Nipawin, Sask., he played in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds (2012-15), really catching fire in 2014-15 when he was 2.41, .915 in 60 games with Seattle. . . . Other former WHLers joining the Huskies for 2017-18 are F Collin Shirley (Kootenay, Kamloops, 2012-17), F Carter Folk (Seattle, Lethbridge, Victoria, 2013-17), F Taylor Sanheim (Calgary, 2014-17) and F Jesse Shynkaruk (Kamloops, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, 2013-17). . . . At the same time, D MacKenzie Johnston (Kelowna, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, 2009-14) is eligible to play after sitting for last season due to transfer rules, while F Alex Forsberg (Prince George, Saskatoon, Victoria, 2011-16) returns after missing a season with a shoulder injury. Johnston played two seasons (2014-16) at Mount Royal before transferring.

Thomas Foster, previously committed to the UBC Thunderbirds, will instead attend NAIT for the 2017-18 season. Tough break for UBC.

— Victor Findlay (@Finder_24) August 22, 2017

Former WHL D Bryan Allbee has been traded by the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings to the Chilliwack Chiefs for future considerations. Allbee, 20, is from Prince George. He played in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice and Seattle Thunderbirds (2014-17). He started last season with Seattle, playing 33 games, and finished up with the Spruce Kings. In 146 WHL games, he put up 11 goals and 17 assists.

A tip of the cap to veteran coach Mike Vandekamp of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. They opened training camp on Tuesday at Cliff McNabb Arena with 26 players on hand. BCHL teams will be allowed to keep 23 players this season, meaning Vandekamp decided early on in which direction he would go. . . . One of the players in camp is D Jordan Wharrie, a veteran of 162 WHL games. He told Dan Marshall of that it’s the smallest training camp he’s seen. . . . Good on Vandekamp for not bringing in extra bodies which, in a lot of instances, wastes people’s time and money, and often raises false hope. . . . Marshall’s story is right here.

Gerard Dicaire is the new head coach of the Northeast BC/Yukon Trackers, who play out of Fort St. John, B.C., in the Northern Alberta Midget AA Hockey League. He takes over from David Johnston, who left the team at the end of last season. . . . Dicaire, a defenceman, played for the Seattle Thunderbirds and Kootenay Ice (1999-2003) before going on to a three-season pro career. . . . He did a turn as head coach of the Fort St. John Flyers, a senior men’s team, but stepped aside a couple of years ago for family reasons.

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Preparations continue. Really cool addition to the @WHLsilvertips ice this season: bear artwork inside the center ice red line.

— Mike Benton (@Benton_Mike) August 22, 2017

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