FILE – Backyard burning in Chilliwack, B.C. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Seven small wildfires burning in B.C. as warm weather brings dry conditions

BC Wildfire Service urging caution as winter weather melts

The B.C. government is urging caution when doing any outdoor burning, as the recent stint of warm weather has caused dry conditions.

On Friday afternoon, a small wildfire was spotted just outside Cranbrook’s city limits. Fire crews were able to quickly respond to the blaze, estimated to be roughly seven hectares in size.

A second wildfire, burning 250 hectares large, sparked Saturday afternoon just outside of Kamloops in Chase.

Since the start of the year, there have been 17 wildfires reported across the province. Seven are currently classified as being held or under control.

The first was reported on Jackass Mountain, between Boston Bar and Lytton, on Feb. 26, and has since been put out by fire crews.

The largest was an estimated 30 hectares found burning near Morris Valley Road in the Fraser Valley on March 5.

“To help reduce the number of preventable wildfires, people wanting to light an open fire must watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations,” the forest ministry said in a statement Friday.

Recommended precautions include:

  • Ensuring that enough resources are on hand to control the fire and prevent it escaping.
  • Not burning during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Creating an appropriately sized fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material, right down to the mineral soil.
  • Consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter of the main fire site before lighting the main fire. This will create a fuel break and help prevent the fire spreading beyond its intended size.
  • Never leaving a fire unattended.
  • Making sure the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

While fire danger ratings are not calculated by the BC Wildfire Service until May 1, the recent warming in most B.C. regions has prompted a reminder from authorities that hot spots from prior wildfires can re-emerge due to “overwintering” fires.

This happens when a fire continues to smoulder deep underground through the winter months, and can flare up with the arrival of spring.

Burning regulations can be found on the BC Wildfire Service website.

Between April 2018 and March 2019 there were 2,112 wildfires, torching 1.3 million hectares of land. Roughly 40 per cent of fires are human-caused each year.

WATCH: Do you know the wildfire terms?


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read