Long weekend grass fires in Thompson-Okanagan spark warning from B.C. Wildfire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Long weekend grass fires in Thompson-Okanagan spark warning from B.C. Wildfire

Eight wildfires are reported burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre today, three of which have been reported in the last two days.
April 05, 2021 - 3:49 PM

Dry leftover fuels from the winter are sparking a number of wildfires in the Kamloops Fire District.

B.C. Wildfire Service fire information officer Nicole Bonnett says eight wildfires are currently active in the Kamloops Fire Centre as of today, April 5.

Two of the biggest fires were discovered yesterday. They include a 300 hectare blaze near Quilchena Creek and a 50 ha fire near the Coldwater River, both in the Merritt area.

Bonnett says all eight fires are considered under control or being held, and aren’t expected to grow in size.

“It’s not uncommon to see grass-type wildfires this time of year. There are lots of dead fuels left over from winter that are now quite dry,” Bonnett says.

Frequent weather changes — and the winds that accompany them — can catch people off guard who are using fire to clean up their properties.

“People need to pay attention to the open burning rules and make sure they have appropriate tools and water on site for the type of burning they are doing,” she says.

The first three months of this year have been drier than normal, with March especially so, but so far there hasn’t been exceptional heat, and nights are remaining cool, which is contributing to higher daily humidities.

The Easter long weekend weather was mostly dry with gusty winds Friday through Sunday afternoon in the Thompson and Okanagan.

In the South Okanagan, community fire departments were busy during the long weekend.

The Penticton Fire Department responded to two wildfire calls between April 1 and April 4. Other community departments that responded to one or more calls for wildfires over the weekend included Princeton, Tulameen, Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos and Summerland.

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