FILE – Backyard burning in Chilliwack, B.C. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Seven small wildfires burning in B.C. as warm weather brings dry conditions

BC Wildfire Service urging caution as winter weather melts

The B.C. government is urging caution when doing any outdoor burning, as the recent stint of warm weather has caused dry conditions.

On Friday afternoon, a small wildfire was spotted just outside Cranbrook’s city limits. Fire crews were able to quickly respond to the blaze, estimated to be roughly seven hectares in size.

A second wildfire, burning 250 hectares large, sparked Saturday afternoon just outside of Kamloops in Chase.

Since the start of the year, there have been 17 wildfires reported across the province. Seven are currently classified as being held or under control.

The first was reported on Jackass Mountain, between Boston Bar and Lytton, on Feb. 26, and has since been put out by fire crews.

The largest was an estimated 30 hectares found burning near Morris Valley Road in the Fraser Valley on March 5.

“To help reduce the number of preventable wildfires, people wanting to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations,” the forest ministry said in a statement Friday.

Recommended precautions include:

  • Ensuring that enough resources are on hand to control the fire and prevent it escaping.
  • Not burning during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Creating an appropriately sized fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material, right down to the mineral soil.
  • Consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter of the main fire site before lighting the main fire. This will create a fuel break and help prevent the fire spreading beyond its intended size.
  • Never leaving a fire unattended.
  • Making sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

While fire danger ratings are not calculated by the BC Wildfire Service until May 1, the recent warming in most B.C. regions has prompted a reminder from authorities that hot spots from prior wildfires can re-emerge due to “overwintering” fires.

This happens when a fire continues to smoulder deep underground through the winter months, and can flare up with the arrival of spring.

Burning regulations can be found on the BC Wildfire Service website.

Between April 2018 and March 2019 there were 2,112 wildfires, torching 1.3 million hectares of land. Roughly 40 per cent of fires are human-caused each year.

WATCH: Do you know the wildfire terms?


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Golf tourney benefits Greater Vernon KidSport

Inaugural KidSport tournament, with $30,000 goal to let 100 kids play sports, set for June 20

Neighbours help save Vernon garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire on side of garage enough before firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

Regional District of North Okanagan planner recognized

Rob Smailes awarded individual achievement honour from PIBC

Downtown Vernon offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

The DVA agrees with other stakeholders proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Thunderstorm possible for South Okanagan

The rest of the region will enjoy a sunny day.

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

KFD, COSAR rescue injured Okanagan hiker

Rescue happened after 1 p.m. on Lost Lake Trail in Kelowna after woman injured her leg

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Trail played role during fur trade era

Fur Brigade Trail in Okanagan has long history

Most Read