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Evacuations rescinded, fires turned over to local crews

Image Credit: Global Okanagan/Nathan Heiberg
April 15, 2014 - 3:56 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - In total five homes were evacuated by the Bridge River Indian Band while 21 firefighters and two helicopters worked to control a 17 hectare wildfire burning north of Lillooet Monday evening.

Fire Information Officer Kayla Pepper says the evacuation has since been rescinded and crews were able to leave the site with minimal fire activity showing. A dozen firefighters returned to the site for mop up today.

Crews were also able to turn the four hectare fire west of Merritt on Lower Nicola Indian Band land back over to the local fire crews by 8 p.m. Monday night and the 80 ha fire south of Cawston was also turned back over to the Keremeos Fire Department last night with minimal fire activity.

A total of 14 firefighters returned to the 80 ha Inkaneep fire today. That fire began Friday and has kept crews busy since, though Pepper says recent rain in the region is helping.

“We had some precipitation, which is certainly welcome. we’re hoping for more showers this week,” she says, adding. “I know it’s not ideal for the long weekend.”

Even with rain the ground dries quickly and anyone doing open burning needs to be cognizant of that, Pepper says.

Fire crews continue to work with local governments, groups and individuals on prescribed burning plans to help reduce the risk of serious fire later in the season. Many of the three dozen or so fires that occurred in the region since the beginning of the month have been a result of poorly planned open burning.

Crews actually checked in on a 200 ha fire on the Douglas Lake Indian Band land last night but found it was a prescribed burn. They allowed it to continue and have not been called to assist, though Pepper notes because they checked on it and filed a report it does show on the B.C. Wildfire site as a current wildfire.

The early start to the season has kept crews busy, but Pepper notes they did have about 50 per cent of their crews return this year. Training for new recruits will take place later this month.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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