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Human-caused wildfire near northern B.C. community now out of control

One-hectare sized fire started day after burn ban implemented, says B.C. Wildfire Service
An out of control wildfire burns on Snake Hill near Kitwanga. B.C. Wildfire Service discovered the blaze April 15. (Screen capture/Jacob Beaton video/Facebook)

A small B.C. community is already in the throws of wildfire season, with a nearby blaze deemed out of control.

B.C. Wildfire Service discovered the fire just outside Kitwanga, a village about 100 kilometres north of Terrace, on Saturday (April 16).

The day before, an open burning ban went into effect for northwestern B.C.

The wildfire service says the fire has grown to about one hectare in size as of April 18 and is believed to be human caused.

A second larger fire is also burning near the community. Although 16 hectares in size, the wildfire service says it is being held, and isn’t expected to spread further. It was started the same day and is also believed to be human caused.

READ ALSO: Province of B.C. commits to year-round wildfire service

As of April 18, there are 14 active wildfires in the province, 13 of which are believed to be the result of human actions. Besides the two near Kitwanga, all the fires are considered under control or too new to tell.

Category 2 and 3 fires are currently banned in northwestern B.C., including backyard and industrial burning projects.

“Despite the current cooler temperatures throughout the region, relative humidity levels are low throughout areas of the NWFC (Northwest Fire Centre). Gusting winds, little precipitation and a warming trend is in the long-term forecast and are the trigger points for this proactive open fire prohibition,” the Northwest Fire Centre said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Cool spring keeping start of B.C. wildfire season in check – so far

Anyone found responsible for starting a wildfire may be forced to cover fire control costs and damages, as well as pay penalties up to $100,000.

Wildfires and open burning violations can be reported to 1-800-663-5555.


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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media.
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