Optimistic, but aware: Wet weather easing Fort Nelson fire fears | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Optimistic, but aware: Wet weather easing Fort Nelson fire fears

A view of the Parker Lake wildfire near Fort Nelson, B.C., is shown on Monday, May 13, 2024, in a BC Wildfire Service handout photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-BC Wildfire Service

The mayor of Fort Nelson says the community is feeling more comfortable after a week of wet weather and a downgraded drought threat, but that doesn't mean they're blind to the risk of wildfires that still exists in the region.

Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Rob Fraser says the community, which was evacuated because of a wildfire in May, received rain for much of this week and has recently been downgraded to a Level 3 drought risk.

The region has previously been at the highest risk, Level 5, where adverse effects from drought were considered "almost certain."

Fraser says plumes of smoke are still visible on hot days and residents know that a stretch of hot, dry, weather would be enough to increase fire behaviour again.

The mayor says the hot spots are burning "in the black," meaning they are within the charred boundaries of previous fires, and not spreading.

Fraser says the community is going ahead with Canada Day festivities this weekend and tourists have been returning since the evacuation ended.

"I think those people they just held off and now they're coming. We see our campsite full, we're seeing people walking around town, the museum is full of people," he said.

"So we're pretty optimistic as we look over our shoulders at where these fires are burning."

The province is warning that warm weather and drought conditions this Canada Day long weekend could increase the risk of wildfires in the province.

A statement from the ministries of Forests and Emergency Management says people should stay up to date on current conditions, follow fire bans and restrictions, and have an emergency plan that is shared with friends and family.

The latest information from the BC Wildfire Service Thursday says there are 93 active wildfires in the province, including five that have started in the last 24 hours.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 27, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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