Wildfire south of 49th parallel to blame for smoke-filled holiday weekend
Smoke filtering out the sun during the BC Day Holiday weekend is blowing into the region from a fire south of the 49th parallel said Karlie Shaughnessy of the Southeast Fire Centre Monday.
“Most of the smoke in the area is from a fire burning in Central Washington (State) and its blowing directly up into areas along the border,” Shaughnessy, Communications Specialist with the Southeast Fire Centre.
“So that’s pretty much where the smoke is coming from.”
Shaughnessy said there are a couple of smaller wildfires burning in the mountains near Riondel and Boswell.
However, those fires are not the cause of the smoke in the area.
“These fires are fairly small in comparison . . . we’ve had a few calls where people can see the smoke from those fires but they’re both extremely remote,” Shaughnessy explains.
Currently there are 141 wildfires burning in the province costing government $169.9 Million to date.
Shaughnessy said the Southeast Fire Centre has been hit with a good stretch of luck of late, as there are very few new wildfires to report.
However, Monday, a new fire was reported 10 kilometers northwest of Beaverdale burning in a remote area.
“We have air tankers, one helicopters and an initial attack crew fighting this fire,” Shaughnessy said.
“No cause has been determined yet and the fire is not affecting any communities or structures.”
Despite not having many major wildfires in the Southeast Fire Centre, Shaughnessy said the public should remain vigilant when venturing into the forests.
“There is still a campfire ban on (in the Southeast Fire Centre) and most of the fire centres remain in moderate high to extreme fire danger,” Shaughnessy explains.
“Campfire ban remains in place to help prevent person-caused fires from starting allowing our crews to deal with natural-caused lightning fires,” Shaughnessyadds.
“That’s why we want the public to be extra cautious when travelling in the forest regions of the province.”
The Southeast Fire Centre has responded to a total of 386 fires since April 1, 63 of which were human-caused and therefore preventable. The total number of wildfires by this date last year was 117.
The Southeast Fire Centre covers the area extending from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It includes the Selkirk Forest District and the Rocky Mountain Forest District.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, 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, visit:http://www.bcwildfire.ca