September 17, 2013 - 8:27 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – The risk is now lower but the potential for an intense fire still exists, even as the nights get longer and the days get cooler.
B.C. Wildfire information officer Kayla Pepper says the whole fire centre is in a low to very low fire danger rating right now. The rain that came with the thunderstorms Sunday and Monday kept any lightning strikes from igniting.
Pepper explains a lightning strike can hold in the ground for up to a couple weeks though, meaning a fire could still be smoldering in the ground. If return to the dry heat it, the any smouldering embers could start a fire. It's called holdover lightning and crews have responded to a number of them this year.
With more thunderstorms in the forecast, and the lift of the open fire ban set for a month from now, Pepper warns people to still take precautions.
“We're not seeing intense of fire starts right now, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen,” Pepper says, “the potential is still there.”
Even though the fire danger rating is low, Pepper says people shouldn't expect to see the Kamloops Fire Centre starting large controlled burns just yet.
“Anything in the fire zone is still prohibited and B.C. Wildfire follows the same regulations for the most part,” Pepper notes. “There will be no large scale burning going on, though that will change in the fall. We do have a number of piles out there.”
Pepper says it's a great time for people to work on cleaning up their property and complete fire smart stuff like raking leaves and get piles ready for open burning, which is set to begin Oct. 15.
So far this season the Kamloops Fire Centre has seen 22 fires of note (larger than 10 hectares or close to residences) and a total of 456 fires that have burned just under 3,000 ha.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013