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Fire risk high and heading higher into B.C. Day long weekend

B.C. Wildfire is warning people to be careful this long weekend.
July 30, 2015 - 4:30 PM

DON'T BE STUPID WITH FIRE THIS LONG WEEKEND

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - There are currently two fires of note and more than a dozen active fires burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre and with yet another hot, dry week ahead of us the fire danger rating is quickly heading into the extreme level throughout the region once again.

Yet those grim reminders of the fire situation are not enough and B.C. Wildfire still feels the need to remind people to be careful this long weekend.

There are more than 1,000 wildfire personnel and contractors working on the more than 70 wildfires currently burning around the province.

Campfire bans remain in place in the Kamloops and Southeast Fire Centres as well as part of the Cariboo and Coastal Fire Centres. Open burning restrictions remain in place throughout the province.

As of Thursday, July 29, there had been 1,347 fire starts in the province since April 1, 305 of which were in the Kamloops Fire Centre. More than 276,400 hectares have burned, nearly 207,000 of which were in the Prince George Fire Centre. More than 4,800 ha have burned in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue well into August, and possibly even September, B.C. Wildfire notes in a media release today, July 30.

August is typically the peak of wildfire season as conditions dry out and lightning storms spark even more fires. With how dry conditions already are there is concern fire activity could be even busier than normal next month.

Crews work to contain the Westside Road wildfire Wednesday, July 23, 2015. The fire remains one of two fires of note in the Kamloops Fire Centre a week later.
Crews work to contain the Westside Road wildfire Wednesday, July 23, 2015. The fire remains one of two fires of note in the Kamloops Fire Centre a week later.

Fire Information Officer Kayla Pepper says lightning starts in July have been even more aggressive than normal, spreading quickly and showing aggressive fire behaviour.

The last lightning storm led to numerous fire starts, including two which are still burning a week later — the Westside Road and Bolean Lake fires.

If you do plan on camping or enjoying the backcountry this long weekend you are asked to follow all regulations, including campfire and open burning bans. While wood campfires are not permitted, there are devices such as propane of natural gas stoves which can be used following manufacturer guidelines.

Fines for not following fire prohibitions are possible under several bylaws and acts, and can apply to every person attending a campfire, not just the person who lit it. If it results in a wildfire of any size you can also be responsible for the cost of fire suppression, which can reach $250,000 per day on large fires.

To report smoke or flames from a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-900-663-5555 or *5555 from your cell.

The fire danger rating as of Thursday, July 30.
The fire danger rating as of Thursday, July 30.
Image Credit: B.C. Wildfire

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

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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