1,545 hectares already burned in Kamloops Fire Centre; caution urged | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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1,545 hectares already burned in Kamloops Fire Centre; caution urged

FILE: Air tankers dropping retardant on fire are a common sight in the summer.
April 18, 2021 - 6:00 PM

The lead-up to summer hasn't been busy for firefighters.

Since April 1, The Kamloops Fire Centre has responded to 29 fires — 10 of which are currently active — and 1,545 hectares have burned, fire information officer Gagan Lidhran said.

Compare that to last year, when only 2,000 hectares burned across the whole fire season.

"We're closing in on that," she said, adding that 2019 and 2020 were remarkably calm for fire activity. 

"Spring activity is not unusual. But with not as much precipitation and unseasonably warm weather, we're asking people to be careful."

Many of these early season fires are driven by winds, dry conditions, and dead surface fuels, like grass and needles.

The worst issue is grass curing in valley bottoms and at lower elevations.

"As the grass and other fuels are dead from over the winter and haven’t yet had a chance to green-up, making them dry and volatile," she said.

"Combined with increasing temperatures and windy conditions, this can cause fires to spread quickly."

Also, most fires are human-caused.

"British Columbians can play a critical role in mitigating wildfire risks around their homes and properties by undertaking FireSmart activities," she said. " We recommend the public take a look at the FireSmart BC webpage for a guide on how to mitigate risk of wildfires in and around their homes and neighbourhoods."

As for what's to come, Lidhran said it's too early to say but "precipitation will be a factor."


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