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UPDATED: Lightning storm sparks wildfires; smoke filters into region from BC Interior

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
July 11th, 2017

Karlie Shaughnessy, Fire Information Officer said BC Wildfire Service personnel are currently responding to 25 lightning-caused wildfires in Southeast Fire Centre region.

Shaughnessy said although some of these fires are highly visible from surrounding communities, none of them are immediately threatening communities or structures.

These fires include the following:

  • Four separate fires are burning about five kilometres northwest of Nakusp in the Turner Creek and Dunn Creek area. These fires all cover fewer than 0.5 hectares. One helicopter and 13 firefighting personnel are currently on site.
  • One initial attack crew and one helicopter are responding to a 0.04-hectare fire about 15 kilometres northeast of Nelson in the Duhamel Creek area.
  • There are four fires burning on the east side of Arrow Lake, from five kilometres to 21 kilometres southeast of Burton. All of these fires cover less than one hectare and are burning in remote terrain. Firefighting crews are responding to all of them.
  • One 0.04-hectare fire is burning in the Mather Creek area about 15 kilometres north of Kimberley. Firefighting crews are responding.

The BC Wildfire Service is urging the public to abide by the campfire prohibition that came into effect on July 7, 2017. This restriction on campfires is to help reduce the number of human-caused wildfires, which can divert critical resources from naturally occurring wildfires. The Southeast Fire Centre has responded to a total of 86 fires since April 1, 2017, 28 of which were human-caused and therefore preventable. By comparison, the total number of wildfires as of this date last year was 44.

Shaughnessy said most of the smoke that is visible in many areas of the Southeast Fire Centre is coming from several large fires that are burning in the Cariboo Fire Centre, the Prince George Fire Centre and the Kamloops Fire Centre. That smoke is expected to continue moving through this region, so long as the prevailing winds come from the west.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to the 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. This includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District. 

For information on air quality, as well as smoke forecasts for Western Canada, visit the BC Air Quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/west/index.html

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

* on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

* on Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Lightning storm sparks wildfires in Southeast Fire Centre

The thunderstorm that rolled through the West Kootenay Monday, dropping a mountain of rain, also made its mark with lightning strikes causing a few new fires in the Southeast Fire Centre.

The nearest wildfire report to Nelson is located at Six Mile according to the BC Wildfire Service map, which is reported at .04 hectare fire.

Other wildfires have been reported near Argenta, the Meadow Creek fire .005 hectare; Poplar Creek, north of Argenta .015 hectare; as well as a handful of new starts near Trout Lake — four wildfires all under a hectare.

North of Nakusp saw three new wildfires starts due to lightning along with a 1.1 hectare wildfire near Glacier Creek up the Duncan, northeast of Argenta.

The Southeast Fire Centre continues its campfire ban in the region.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

  • campfires, as defined in the Wildfire Regulation: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirelegislation
  • * the burning of waste or other materials
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any are
  • the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
  • the use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems)

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

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 Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource 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

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

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