Spring wildfire in southern Interior quickly extinguished

KAMLOOPS - Spring has just started but a wildfire in the southern Interior has already been spotted and extinguished.

Fire information fficer Max Birkner says a fire about 0.8 hectares in size was spotted north of Lytton on Botanie Creek Road yesterday afternoon, March 23. It was quickly put out by wildfire crews and locals.

“It was not an aggressive fire by any means,” he says. “It’s still very wet out there, still a lots of snow on the ground.”

When crews arrived on the scene they found locals were already fighting the small fire. It’s been identified as human caused and an investigation is ongoing into who started it. If someone is identified, they could face fines.

“Anytime of year, if there is a fire that turns into a wildfire than a person can be held responsible for that,” he says.

It was the last fire of the last 2016 fire season in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which covers the south central Interior from Blue River in the north to the U.S. border in the south, and from Bridge River in the west to Monashee Mountains in the east.

While this appears to be an outlier as the environment is still damp in most of B.C., Birkner says there are people burning waste and slash, which could spread into a wildfire.

“If they’re going to be out there burning waste, we’re asking them to be careful,” he says. “And we’re asking people if they do see a fire, call the wildfire reporting line.”

The province wildfire reporting line is 1-800-663-5555.

— This story was updated at 12:05 p.m. on April 3, 2017 to correct when the fire season starts in B.C.

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