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Fires being left to burn in North Okanagan-Shuswap worry residents

Modified response on small, rural blaze concerns some
Fires being left to burn near Malakwa are concerning some residents. (Dan Ginn video still)

Fires being left to burn in the bush are concerning local residents.

Dan Ginn took video of several fires burning in the Malakwa region and says there are more across Mabel Lake.

“Many fires in our area have been classified as a modified response, which means no one is fighting the fire,” Ginn said.

The Malakwa blaze in his video is not the South Eagle fire, which is currently listed as 0.5 hectares and out of control. The fire he saw is five kilometres up the north fork of Perry River, near Sicamous.

Ginn said there are more across Mabel Lake that are under the same modified response.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, modified response means the wildfire is managed using a combination of suppression techniques, including direct and indirect attack, and monitoring to steer, contain or otherwise manage fire activity within a pre-determined perimeter (to minimize costs and/or damage and to maximize benefits from the fire).

Considering the fact that fires can be a natural way of eliminating fuels, some say it’s OK to let them burn, particularly when they are not threatening any homes.

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes nature needs to run its course,” Nik Vischschraper said in response to Ginn.

There are currently 309 active wildfires in B.C., 22 of which were discovered in the last two days. The majority of those fires are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which covers the Okanagan and Shuswap.

So far this year, there have been 1,068 fires, again the majority (323) in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

READ MORE: ‘It exploded last night’: Seymour Arm resident on wildfire

READ MORE: Large suspected human-caused wildfire burning southwest of Revelstoke


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Fires being left to burn near Malakwa are concerning some residents. (Dan Ginn video still)

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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