Human-caused fires are still a concern in East Kootenay
This past weekend, the Wildfire Management Branch’s Southeast Fire Centre responded to four new wildfires in the East Kootenay.
All four of these fires were human-caused and therefore preventable:
- Two fires east of Cranbrook were caused by unsafe campfire use.
- A fire 14 kilometres north of Sparwood was caused by unsafe target shooting.
- A fire 13 kilometres north of Elkford is currently under investigation.
These fires come as firefighters in northern BC battle the Little Bobtail Lake fire which has grown to burn nearly 2,700 hectares by Monday afternoon.
The wildfire, roughly 50 kilometres southwest of Prince George forced 80 people to evacuate.
Fire media centre said working through the night, firefighters continue to establish guard around the south side of the fire’s perimeter with the help of heavy equipment.
Four helicopters are on site today, providing bucketing support for ground crews. Structural Protection Units have also been deployed
More than 100 additional staff including sustained action crews, a specialized Incident Management Team, and other support staff are currently en route.
Smoke from this fire is visible from Highway 16 and surrounding communities, including Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake.
These incidents serve as reminders for people to remain vigilant with any open burning or recreational activities when there is a heightened wildfire risk, and to ensure that they have plans in place to extinguish any fire that may occur or escape.
So far this season, the Wildfire Management Branch has responded to 25 wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre, all of which were human-caused.
The recent unseasonably mild temperatures and low relative humidity in southeast B.C. have increased the wildfire risk in all snow-free areas. The region will again experience temperatures in the mid-20s today.
Homeowners are reminded to visit www.bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp to check if there are any open burning prohibitions in place. Before conducting any burn, they should also check with their local fire department, municipality and regional district to see if they have any open burning restrictions or bylaws in effect.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, go to: http://www.bcwildfire.ca